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  1. #1
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    CA - Lydia Schatz, 7, beaten to death, 11yo sister critically injured, 5 Feb 2010

    Did we miss this? Is this has been posted please let me know and I'll remove. This happened just a little south of me in a town where I've done lots of adoptive advocacy. The Chico area has an incredibly high number of special needs and/or internationally adopted kids. I was unaware of a Fundamentalist component, however.

    This case infuriates me and plays right into a long post I wrote a few days ago about international adoptions (these children were adopted from Africa) and the Fundamentalist community. My guess is that the website referred to is the same one that the Bass family of Arizona used for disciplinary instruction. I'll find it and post in a bit.


    http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_14388171



    "A fundamentalist religious philosophy that espouses corporal punishment to "train" children to be more obedient to their parents and God is now being investigated in connection with the death of a young Paradise girl and serious injuries to her sister.

    Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey confirmed Thursday that other children in the home who have been interviewed told investigators "this philosophy was espoused by their parents."

    Ramsey said he is also exploring a possible connection to a Web site that endorses "biblical discipline" using the same rubber or plastic tube alleged to have been used to whip the two young ridge girls by their adoptive parents.

    In court Thursday, a judge granted a two-week postponement before the children's parents, Kevin Schatz, 46, and Elizabeth Schatz, 42, enter a plea to murder and torture charges that could carry two life terms in prison."

    and

    "Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died.

    The two young girls reportedly sustained deep bruising and multiple "whip-like" marks on their back, buttocks and legs, which authorities believe resulted in significant muscle tissue breakdown that impaired their kidneys and possibly other vital organs, said Ramsey.

    He said investigators are researching a possible connection to an Internet Web site set up by "fundamentalist Christian people" that recommends use of the same whip-like implement "as an appropriate tool for biblical chastisement ... to train a child from infancy to make them a happier child and more obedient to God because they are obedient to the will of their parents," said Ramsey......."

    much more at link

    note related articles with case history on same page


    A link to a website describing much of the "Biblical" discipline used in these cases posted by a person who categorically disagrees with this practice:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/8...-abuse,-part-1

    You'll note that Michael and Debi Pearl's books concerning discipline come up frequently on this site.
    Last edited by Missizzy; 02-27-2010 at 12:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    My theory, folks, is that families are overwhelmed with special needs/internationally adopted children's needs, behavior and trauma. These kids act out, do strange things, can rage for hours, can eat until they vomit, can harm others or pets. Parents expected some gratitude and love in return for their trouble and their huge expenses (we are human after all). The big smiles, hugs, "jumping on the beds delight" we see in the news only lasts a couple of days. Then reality sets in.

    Many who adopt internationally seem to be Fundamentalist right now and many espouse the idea of "bigger is better". They turn, in anguish, to help from people like the Pearls, when they can't control their damaged children. I'm not going to say that there's no value to some of the Pearl's trainings as much of what they teach is simply old-fashioned expectations of manners. However, they step way over the line when they go about breaking down a child's spirit and disciplining children to achieve that "perfect" adherence with rules. Isn't this the reason nuns no longer whack kids with rulers and teachers no longer carry a paddle?

    I honestly don't believe that parents such as the Schatzes started out evil or adopted a child to harm her. I imagine they went to Liberia with the best of intentions. Interestingly enough, I think I know their adoption agency and it just closed down after decades of adoptions. I think there are many of these cases flying under the radar.

    This family, though, knowingly committed an evil act. They murdered their child. They allowed dogmatic teaching to guide them in killing their child. I know I say it time and again, but there are no services, respite, stipends, medical cards for highly challenging (but hauntingly beautiful) internationally adopted children. Families are totally alone with their anger, resentment, and confusion. They are grasping at straws....or plastic tubing.

    I can't yell it any louder. People like Laura Silsby and all the other child "rescue" groups in Haiti and Africa are not the answer. Child rearing is supposed to be messy and challenging and heart-wrenching. This is NOT the Waltons, after all!! We should not be celebrating the thousands of foreign children brought into this country and puffing ourselves up with pride that we've "saved" them. Adoption is not altruism and it is most certainly not a way to build a church base.

    Adoption is a very personal journey made by a person or a couple seeking a child to raise for their own selfish reasons. The same reason we make babies--to fill our desire to love and be loved. Leave the foreign children in their countries of origin and send your donations to support social services in those countries. And leave the special needs children to the experienced families....please. Off the soapbox.



    http://www.newsreview.com/chico/content?oid=1373000

    Was religion a driving factor, or is there something more?

    "We don’t know much about the Schatz family. We know the parents, Kevin and Elizabeth, had six biological children and adopted three from Liberia about three years ago. We know Kevin worked as a printer repairman and salesman until being laid off recently. We know the kids were often seen running in a group around their Paradise neighborhood. They were home schooled. And we know that they were likely brought up in a Christian fundamentalist household.

    It’s safe to say the Schatzes have stayed mostly below the radar. That all changed when their 7-year-old daughter, Lydia, was pronounced dead early on the morning of Feb. 6.

    Lydia, who had been rescued from an orphanage in Liberia, allegedly had mispronounced a word during a reading session at home and faced the consequences. Elizabeth Schatz called 911 to report the girl had stopped breathing. She was in cardiac arrest and, although doctors at Feather River Hospital were able to revive her, she didn’t make it to the Chico Municipal Airport, where she was set to take a plane to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento....."

    and

    ".....What’s disturbing to a lot of people who have been following this story is that the Schatzes seem like normal people. They’ve never received a call from Children’s Services before, and they have no criminal record....."

    and

    "....Police found, on the Schatzes’ bed, a 15-inch section of PVC tube, a quarter-inch thick. They believe it to be the murder weapon, as both Lydia and Zariah had “whip-like” marks that matched the length and width of the pipe. It lay beside a children’s book.

    The PVC tube may seem like a strange punishment tool, but for those familiar with the teachings of Christian fundamentalists and authors Michael and Debi Pearl, it is nothing new.

    “There was some evidence that indicates they were familiar with the Pearls’ publications,” Ramsey said of the Schatzes. Police interviews with the other children revealed they, too, had been on the receiving end of the “rod......”

    Much more at link.


    And a link to the Pearl's website:

    www.nogreaterjoy.org

  3. #3
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    THEY BEAT THE POOR CHILD TO DEATH FOR MISPRONOUNCING A WORD?!!!!! Lord, please make this stop. Praying that the surviving girl gets placed somewhere where she will experience what it is like to be truly loved and cherished.
    Happy New Years

  4. #4
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    I was on a parenting forum for a very short while that actually advocated using the BIG glue sticks for the industrial type glue guns to beat kids....that did it for me.......................I never went back

    I am not against an open handed spanking on the bottom for a child that really needs it. To me there is a HUGE difference between beatings and spankings


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

  5. #5
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    Linda--ITA, many of us who have raised families have used an occasional swat on a bottom to frighten (yes, frighten). I've always thought that if parents are totally non-violent and loving at all times and save that swat for something really scary like a toddler darting in the road or grabbing at a pot on the stove, you better believe, you'll get attention. You'll also get a totally crushed child who will cry but listen when you hold them and tell them how they scared you. I feel the same way about raising my voice. I speak in a very gentle voice 99.9% of the time. If I yell at one of my kids, the house goes silent as "Momma must be really mad". It's always safety stuff that gets me--both physical and personal boundary safety.

    This placing of instruments of punishment around the house and in vehicles to keep "kids in line" is plain sick. My kids dreaded me doling out the old "essay" or sentences punishment as they thought they'd die from boredom. But they dreaded the chore, they didn't fear my body hurting them.

    The Pearls can shout from the rooftops that their grown kids are well-adjusted and happy. If they are, I really doubt they got the wire or tubing whipping on a regular basis. That's not what loving parents do. We have to model the behavior we want from our kids. That's surely not going around whipping people with something that stings every time they say something we don't agree with.

    I don't think the Pearls and others who are teaching this sort of discipline realize that their audience base is extremely diverse. Some people just blindly follow the instruction book and fail to look at the real live child in front of them.
    Last edited by Missizzy; 02-27-2010 at 07:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    I feel sick to my stomach at people who use homeschool as an excuse to freely abuse children. I homeschool my kids - not to abuse them but because I believe it's flat out a better education and my children deserve the best.

    The abuse in this case is terrible enough. the others I have read about (a little girl starved by here mother was just jailed here in the UK this week in fact, was "homeschooling") really turn my stomach.

  7. #7
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    I can't stand it when religous people think kids need to be beaten with belts and such just because the Bible says "spare the rod and spoil the child". The rod was used by shepards and they sure didn't beat their sheep, they gently guided them. Kids really don't need to be beaten and spanked other than maybe an occasional light swat even if they have horrible behavior.

  8. #8
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    You know what the irony is about corporal punishment? After raising 14 kids--a very diverse lot--I've learned how incredibly unique each child is. A raised voice or a "look" will cause one to dissolve into tears. Another will require creative discipline, sanctioning, and loss of privileges.

    Others require major intervention. These are the tough kids. Some would think that all "these kids need is a good whooping". That is so not true. I've learned that with the most troubled and/or strong-willed kids, a 2 x 4 upside the head wouldn't have made a whit of difference. They'd just laugh at you and do what they wanted in the first place. So, why hurt them and why lower your ethics or morals and commit a horrid crime? These are the kids that either need behavior plans, heavy duty therapy, hospital stays, or meds.

    Walk away, splash cold water on your face and make another appointment with the therapist.

  9. #9
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    An updated article: http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_14475598

    And we do have a thread on this I think - I'm going to look....

    Salem

    ETA: I must be having De ja vue or I read this thread this morning and I don't remember???? I did not find another thread, but I could swear I read about this complete with comments and research by Missizzy days ago??? I'm losing it, guys
    Last edited by Salem; 02-27-2010 at 11:53 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    My theory, folks, is that families are overwhelmed with special needs/internationally adopted children's needs, behavior and trauma. These kids act out, do strange things, can rage for hours, can eat until they vomit, can harm others or pets. Parents expected some gratitude and love in return for their trouble and their huge expenses (we are human after all). The big smiles, hugs, "jumping on the beds delight" we see in the news only lasts a couple of days. Then reality sets in.
    Respectfully snipped for space.

    I agree with the majority of your post. It's a good one. However...there is nothing in the reports to suggest these were troubled children with adoption issues such as attachments disorders, etc. Instead, the reports state the little girl was tortured to death for mispronouncing a word.
    I don't care how troubled a child is, or how crazy they make the parents, there is no excuse for beating a child to death. Especially over something so trivial.
    I can understand losing your temper in the heat of the moment and then feeling horrible, but the effort and time it takes to whip a child to death with pvc piping is much more than frustration or a loss of temper. It is inhuman cruelty.
    I've said this before, I'll say it again - I am against hitting children, period. True, most parents who give their kids a swat are normal, good parents and most times it does not crush a child or destroy their souls, but no kid "needs" a spanking. Come on, I handled thirty pre-schoolers and toddlers when I taught preschool and never hit one of them. How could I handle that many children, with only one aide (sometimes no aides), and not resort to hitting if it is so necessary to control kids at times?
    Frankly, the kids in my classes who were regularly spanked were among the hardest to control. The minute their moms were out of sight, these kids vented their childish frustrations, feelings of powerlessness and desire to just be silly kids.
    Nevertheless, I was able to handle the children I taught without hitting or yelling. It's about patience, firm rules, a very positive attitude and set schedules.
    My point is that a culture that sends the message that hitting is sometimes necessary to properly raise kids, puts a potent weapon in the hands of those who are ill-equipped to parent to begin with. Many do not understand basic parenting and given license to use hitting, abuse is almost guaranteed.
    If we had a culture which taught that hitting was never acceptable (not laws, but sociallly), I think some of these tragedies may be avoided.
    To me, hitting a child for any reason teaches that might makes right and that when you are upset or someone has done you wrong, it may be okay to hit them. That's why a lot of the kids I know who get spanked tend to hit other kids more than the children who don't get spanked. Anything that can be accomplished with hitting can be accomplished without physical punishment, in my experience.
    For Travis Alexander, a human being.


    *Gitana (means "Gypsy girl"). Pronounced "hee tah nah."


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    An updated article: http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_14475598

    And we do have a thread on this I think - I'm going to look....

    Salem
    In this article, the Pearls are quoted stating they would never recommend abuse and that their "training" does not constitue that. Right.
    I know of them. They recommend the systematic, ritualized spanking of children that involved removing the kids' clothing and hitting them until their will is broken. If the kids do not submit to the punishment and afterwards do not smile and hug the parent without anger, or sadness, the kid is spanked again until they "submit". I can see how this could last for hours in the case of a terrified, distressed child who in their psychic and physical pain cannot figure out what they need to do to get the hitting to stop.
    And they do advocate spanking for things like failing to be cheerful. They are sick, disgusting people in my book.

    Here's a link to their book. Amazon.com: To Train Up A Child (9781892112002): Michael Pearl, Debi Pearl: Books
    If you go down to the bottom, you will see customer reviews that outline what they recommend. Sounds a lot like what might have happened to these little girls. One fo the reviews somewhere is from a young lady who actually expereinced this training both at her parents' hands and at the hands of Debi Pearl when she was babysat by her. It was horrific, what she described, being repeatedly spanked for crying for her mother. But, according to those who say this is just biblical discipline, it's all okay because the children are never hit out of anger. I swear, I think it would make more sense to a kid if a parent got upset and gave a kid a swat in a moment of anger than to be victim to the cold, calculating systematic punishment sessions these freaks advise, by a person with a calm demeanor. Ick.
    Last edited by KateB; 05-29-2015 at 10:47 PM. Reason: repair url tag.
    For Travis Alexander, a human being.


    *Gitana (means "Gypsy girl"). Pronounced "hee tah nah."

  12. #12
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    I'm no fan of theirs, and can count on one hand the times I even slightly swatted my kids' bottoms, but to be fair, their actual recommendations aren't as bad as the claims about them.

    I looked them up today and here's the page on their site where they give their recommendations:
    http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/index.ph...6b4a&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=89&tx_ttnews[backPid]=12

    (Note, for example, that they don't actually recommend taking kids' clothes off to spank them.)

    I'm most appalled at the ages that they suggest starting discipline. Anyone who attempts to even "tap" a 5 month old baby for being stubborn in front of me will wish I was into hitting by the time I'm done ranting at them.
    Always JMO, FWIW, YMMV...

  13. #13
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    I agree with Gitana - no hitting, no spanking. I know some parents do use an occasional smack on the hiney and I used to think that was okay. But I don't anymore. I have been reading here to long

    Salem

    ETA: I would take down anyone I saw smack a 5 month old infant. Probably both with words and the assistance of LE. I would 911 so fast - there would be NO time for any kind of sorry explanation!
    Last edited by Salem; 02-28-2010 at 12:10 AM.

  14. #14
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    I read their website, and I am absolutely horrified that they don't think they are doing anything wrong.
    Is it really religious belief? I'm sorry, but the idea of a God that intentionally metes out pain and advocates actions that invoke fear, humiliation and pain is not a God that I would want to worship. How are these ideas attractive to people? Would they be abusers anyway, or are they really this easily convinced that there is no need to treat their children as individual people?

    Since I know the God angle in itself is a whole other debate, even science is against their methods. Science has shown that young children, like the five month old that they suggest tapping on the leg to "train" to "forever" sit in his carseat, are animalistic still in the majority of thought. It's not one continuous battle of wills where the child thinks "Am I getting my way, or is she getting hers?" No. It's individual battles in which the child doesn't want to do a particular thing at a particular time. The only way to completely stop a child being disobedient is to remove their will to be independent of you, a very important developmental step. You give them the tools to channel that independence, you cut the strings a little, bring them back in when necessary and hope that you never sink so low that you resort to hitting them to get results.

    When I have to hit them with any kind of rod (Even the proverbial type), "Train them" or "precondition" them...I have failed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    An updated article: http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_14475598

    And we do have a thread on this I think - I'm going to look....

    Salem

    ETA: I must be having De ja vue or I read this thread this morning and I don't remember???? I did not find another thread, but I could swear I read about this complete with comments and research by Missizzy days ago??? I'm losing it, guys
    You're not losing it, Salem....the MissIzzy researched the plumber's line 'discipline' method on the thread about the AZ teen who'd been locked up, starved & beaten w/ a metal rod....IIRC, she wondered if the religious parents had bought into the teachings of the Pearls.

    At least that's what I think you're remembering because I also thought I'd read this before.
    What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
    But if that drop was not in the ocean,
    I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
    ~~ Mother Theresa ~~



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