The human rights organization change.org is currently hosting a petition requesting that Amazon.com stop selling the book To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl because of the book’s association with cases where children who were victims of severe corporal punishment later died.
The petition reads:
Currently there are several books available to buy on Amazon that advocate, endorse and advise on parenting methods that involve the physical abuse of children. Examples of titles include To Train Up A Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl; Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp; and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.
Such books, and other like them, promote behavior which is abusive of children. All of the above books advocate the use of a rod and other implements on children under one.
Such behavior is abusive to children, and it is also ‘offensive’, which is contrary to your Content Guidelines.
It may well also be illegal, as it seems to go far beyond the ‘reasonable chastisement’ currently sanctioned by law in the UK. Not only is beating on a regular basis with a rod likely to leave a mark, which is illegal, it is also likely to amount to inhuman or degrading treatment, which is a breach of human rights.
We wish Amazon to urgently review their decision to stock any book or other product which advises the physical abuse of children.
We’ve covered Michael and Debi Pearl in various Wednesday Link Lists here (use the search bar, upper right) and in this article: When Child Discipline Goes Too Far.
You can sign the petition by clicking here.
You may also read a just published New York Times article about the petition.
Christian booksellers: You should also read this article concerning potential 3rd-party liability if you sell this book. (This story also contains a link to a recent CNN news clip about another child death.)