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Violence In All Its Forms

Controlled, on the field violence is one thing. Off the field is another all together.
Controlled, on the field violence is one thing. Off the field is another all together.

I hadn't seen a head roll like Storm Klein's since King Joffrey defiled Baelor's Sept with the blood of Eddard Stark, Warden of the North. The only difference is, nobody was blindsided when Storm Klein lost his. Once a heralded recruit, Klein had been replaced by a sophomore on the depth chart. A middle linebacker with little sideline-to-sideline speed, Storm Klein wasn't going to see much of the field during his senior season anyway, his actions have ensured he won't be seeing any of it.

Such is the price of domestic violence, which by my estimation, is a crime only surpassed by even more unthinkable ones.

Now, I'm hardly a white as snow moral arbiter. I've admittedly done my fair share of regrettable, even law violating things in life, but I've never understood any man who lays his hands on women. What's perhaps even more troubling is that this incident wasn't Storm Klein's first time showing an inability to control his temper.

It also might not surprise anyone to learn that Storm Klein's father, Jason, has an interesting legal background involving an individual inherently weaker than himself as well, though in a far different context from that of his son.

When Storm Klein was caught drinking alcohol at age of 13, his 36 year-old father "spanked" him with a wooden paddle. As a result, the elder Klein was charged with domestic violence, a first degree misdemeanor. He was acquitted by a jury, but Jason Klein couldn't just leave it at that:

Jason Klein, 36, of Newark, said he spanked his son because he found out he was drinking alcohol. He claims the spanking was a disciplinary measure, and government shouldn’t be allowed to tell parents how to raise their children.

"I don’t think they should have the right at all," the father of six said. "I think it oversteps the boundary of government."

He said he spent nearly $3,500 defending his case, not counting time off work and emotional stress.

I guess Children's Services and all the good work they do is overrated and potentially unnecessary. In all seriousness, this isn't a debate about the morality or permissibility of spanking one's child. While some find such an act egregious, others (mostly going back to the well of personal history) feel it has its place as a disciplinary measure towards a disruptive adolescent. That's not for us to decide, at least not today. I think most, however, even those who find the need to lay a hand on a child as an appropriate means of corrective measure or dissuasion, would raise some serious eyebrows at the thought of doing such to a child at the advanced age of thirteen years. That's not to say all felt such recourse was unmerited:

[Russ] Hylton, a pastor at Crossroads Worship Centre in Newark, where the Klein family attends, believes in spanking as a form of punishment. It helps mold a child into a productive citizen, he said.

When I was 13, I was too worried about completing quests on EverQuest and visiting I imagine though if my own 13-year old kid was caught with alcohol, I'd have a lot more pressing thoughts than "Where the hell is my wooden paddle?"

Rage is such a pedantic, primal reaction when it comes to discipline. It may dissuade the child from preventing the action again, but at what cost? While it's easy to puff your chest and draw back on less socially developed times in regards to authority, what kind of seeds are being sewn when people do this? While correlation far from equals causation, given Storm Klein's current situation, one has to wonder.

Storm, a student at Licking Valley Middle School, said he doesn’t believe the spanking case should have gone this far.

"I got punished and felt I deserved it," he said.

While the incident became a brief national firestorm pitting traditionally minded individuals against more progressive/contemporary ones, the victim himself submitted to the situation in the moment but you can't tell me child psychologists all across the midwest (and beyond) aren't opining the potentially more long term ramifications. How you discipline your child is your own business. How you raise them can ultimately be everyone's.