Adopted African Children Die of Abusive Spanking From Parents
Parents guilty of murders all carried religous book on spanking
Larry and Carri Williams, who live in the state of Washington, adopted an 11-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy from Ethiopia. In May, the girl was found dead in the Williams' backyard "naked and emaciated," reports the New York Times. In California, 7-year-old Lydia Schatz, who was adopted from Liberia, died after her parents whipped her for hours, pausing only to pray between lashes. The Ethiopian adopted girl was also whipped by her parents, as well as starved and left out in the cold.
Both sets of parent adopters are acolytes of a Tennessee preacher named Michael Pearl, who's hobbies include knive throwing, and who teachers that parents must spank their children. He and his wife Debi wrote the book "To Train a Child," which gives instructions on how to spank kids and what kinds of tools you can use to deliver the spankings, including a plumbing line.
The parents who murdered their adopted African children all had copies of the book and follow the Pearls' religious teachings. The book has sold over 670,000 copies. And while the Pearls say that parents shouldn't beat their kids in anger, the parents of the Ethiopian girl who died said that she was "rebellious."
Dr. Frances Chalmers, the pediatrician who examined the dead Ethiopian girl for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services told the New York Times, "My fear is that this book, while perhaps well intended, could easily be misinterpreted and could lead to what I consider significant abuse."
The Pearls say their book doesn't advocate for abuse and that "If you find a 12-step book in an alcoholic's house, you wouldn't blame the book."