Monday, September 22, 2014

Adrian Peterson Legal Troubles Trigger Punishment v. Discipline Debate? ~by Legal Pub

Perhaps it would help to get one's story straight before jumping on or off the "throw the book at Adrian Peterson bandwagon."  Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was placed on the exempt/commissioner's permission list which prevents him from playing or participating in any Viking activities.  The reason Peterson is blacklisted is because he was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child.  Specifically, Peterson disciplined his 4-year-old son with a "switch" in May.  The switch apparently left a number of bruises and small lacerations.
To explain the black listing roller coaster, it is best to look at the history.  The Vikings deactivated Peterson for Week 2.  Then for some reason, the Vikings reinstated him on Monday in order for Peterson to play Week 3 against the Saints. However, in the early morning hours Wednesday, the Vikings reversed their field and put Peterson on the exempt list.  These sudden change of direction by the Vikings are perhaps even more evasive then their star running back's moves on the field. The madness may not end until Peterson can sort out his legal troubles.  So how did it all get to this point?  Let's look at the history of this matter for direction.
May 18: Peterson allegedly disciplined his son after the boy pushed another one of Peterson's sons off of a motorbike video game. Unfortunately, the discipline took the form of a thin branch or rod referred to as a "switch." The so called discipline allegedly resulted in bruises and lacerations on the boy's back, legs, arms and buttocks. When the boy returned to mom, doctors examined the bruises and apparently found them to be consistent with child abuse.
Aug. 21: Peterson appeared in Montgomery County, Texas in front of a Grand Jury.
Sept. 4: The grand jury decided not to indict Peterson, apparently because it was his intent to discipline but not hurt the child. 
Sept. 11: Peterson missed  Viking practice which is labelled by the head coach as a veteran day off. 
Sept. 12, 4:36 p.m. EST: Peterson is indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child in Montgomery County. (Apparently this charge does not require intent to harm.)
Sept. 12, 5:04 p.m.: Vikings announce that Peterson will not play in week 2 against the Patriots and that he is deactivated until further notice.  
Sept. 13, 2:15 a.m.: Peterson surrenders to Montgomery, County police. Peterson is released on fifteen thousand dollars bond.  
Sunday, Sept. 14:  Vikings play without Peterson.
Sept. 15, 1:54 p.m.: Peterson makes a public statement about the accusations. 
Sept. 15, 2:46 p.m.: Vikings reinstate Peterson based on Peterson's statement that it was not abuse it was disciplining a child.  
Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.:  Peterson's history of a prior incident possibly involving abuse hits the press.  (Peterson was not charged in the incident.  The 4-year-old hit his forehead on a car seat while being disciplined.)
Sept. 15, 8:12 p.m.: Radisson suspends its limited sponsorship of the Vikings.
Sept. 16: Mark DaytonMinnesota governor, says Peterson is innocent until proven guilty. But he also called Peterson's actions "a public embarrassment.  Governor Mark Dayton went on to say that Adrian Peterson should have been suspended by the team over the recent allegations of abuse.     
Sept. 16: Anheuser-Busch expresses concern over  Peterson's legal trouble.
Sept. 17, 2:00 a.m.:  Peterson is placed on exempt/commissioner's permission list.  
Sept. 17, noon: Vikings owners address the media. By 12:15 pm, Nike and Castrol suspend their sponsorship of Adrian Peterson.
Sept. 19, 4:15 p.m.: A petition for protective order barring Peterson from having any unsupervised contact with his four-year-old son is filed in court.
Sept. 21: Pro Football Talk reports that Adrian Peterson will request an expedited trial in an attempt to salvage some of the 2014 season.
So when does discipline become punishment? Punishment is an intervention that uses a penalty for a child’s offense. Too often the punishment comes as a result from a parent’s feelings of frustration and desperation. It is often a desperate attempt for a parent to maintain control.  It is trying to prove to the child that “I’m in charge."  There can be several problems with punishments. One problem is that children are not taught how to behave. For example, if a child hits his brother and then receives a spanking, he is not taught what to do the next time he feels angry with his brother. Punishment also sends the message that parents must manage a child's behavior and feelings because the child is not able to do it on his or her own. Punishment may lead children to grow up with a lack of ability to make good decisions because all their decisions have been made for them. When children receive a punishment, they often focus on anger directed at their parents instead of thinking about how they can learn from their mistake.

Discipline focuses on teaching children skills to manage their behaviors and deal with their feelings. Discipline focuses on training so that children can potentially learn from their mistakes.  The goal is to teach children better ways to solve their problems in the future. Discipline techniques include timeout to reflect on how to manage their frustration.  When given the option of negative consequences, choices make sense.  A child who does not eat all of his dinner, is not allowed to have desert.  If he wants desert the next night, he will choose to eat all of his food. Discipline may may also use praise and reward to reinforce good choices.  Discipline fosters a positive relationship between children and parents. 

So what does religion suggest?  Exodus 21:15  “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. "   Perhaps that will become Peterson's basis for a plea of leniency...


Anonymous said...

Peterson seems like he over did it no matter what you call it!!

Anonymous said...

Spare the rod, ruin the child!

Anonymous said...

Lov the biblical passage in the same breath as Petersen