Attorney for taekwondo center/daycare defends against beatings report | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Attorney for taekwondo center/daycare defends against beatings report

Posted By on Sat, Jul 18, 2015 at 7:20 AM

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KATV continues its strong reporting on allegations of use of physical punishment at the Anderson Taekwondo Center, a state-licensed daycare that receives publicly financed vouchers to pay for children to attend.

State rules prohibit use of corporal punishment. One mother has said her child was brutalized and others have also said their children received physical punishment, euphemistically called "ice cream and cake." Richard Anderson, director of the center, has been quoted as saying "everyone" knew the center employed corporal punishment, despite its prohibition. Department of Human Services employees — mandatory reporters of child abuse under the law — also have been accused of being aware of or even participating in the punishment.

The center continues to be licensed and receive public support. DHS has said it is investigating. One former employee has been charged with battery.

The latest revelations from Channel 7 includes this defense from Anderson's attorney Jason Stuart:

* The child's mother agreed to the punishment. Need I emphasize that, even if true, this doesn't constitute a waiver to violate rules against corporal punishment?

* The attorney was quoted:

Stuart said only a small amount of children were punished by Anderson; it was used as a last resort he said.

Again: Need I emphasize that flouting the law is flouting the law, even only as a "last resort" or only a "small amount?

It's about time for the state Department of Human Services to demonstrate that children come first, iAn attorney for an accused daycare appears to have admitted corporal punishment was employed on four-year-olds. And there have been no consequences?

About that "ice cream and cake":

Stuart explained on Friday that Anderson calls his punishment time for children who need discipline “ice cream and cake” because Anderson has battled with his weight all his life and he doesn’t want kids to turn out like him.

“Teaching children through too much sweets is bad, and along those same lines, getting a paddling called ice cream and cake is also bad,” said Stuart.

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