Thinking Out Loud

November 7, 2011

Petition Launched to Stop Sale of “To Train up a Child”

The human rights organization is currently hosting a petition requesting that 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.)


  1. Thank you to alerting me to this book and the petition. I love the easy way they provided to link to my friends list and to target those whom I know would sign the petition.

    Comment by Cynthia — November 7, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  2. Thanks for the link, making it easy to add my name and encourage friends and family to do the same.

    Comment by Transitioning Mom — November 7, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  3. […] can read about that at When Child Discipline Goes Too Far here at Thinking Out Loud, and later, Petition Launched to Stop Sales of To Train up a Child.   If you want to go outside this blog, there’s this story, and this […]

    Pingback by Missing Link in Story of Pastor Advocating Beating Effiminate Boys « Thinking Out Loud — May 7, 2012 @ 10:55 am

  4. NO! I won’t sign your petition. There are people of all stripes who use and read this book. Your painting all people the author and all his readers in a villainous light. Like were all child abusers. That’s not the case. Spanking a child is entirely different than beating/abusing a child. Being a parent who spanks his/her child doesn’t automatically equate abuse. Parent’s who do no spanking but do nothing but scream and yell at a child do far more damage.. but since it is more socially acceptable people don’t get all spazzed out about it!

    Comment by Tonia Spencer — March 12, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    • It’s too bad the people whose use of the book are now — or have been — implicated in court cases didn’t read it as discerningly as you.

      (For the record, there is no petition here; it’s a story about a petition.)

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — March 12, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

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