Raleigh, N.C. — A state task force that reviewed the death of a 4-year-old boy at the hands of his adoptive mother recommended more oversight for children taught at home.
The Department of Social Services report on Sean Paddock’s death was released last week, hours after the boy’s adoptive mother, Lynn Paddock, was convicted of first-degree murder and felony child abuse in his February 2006 death.
The report called for more state monitoring of home schools, including having medical examiners track the school status of children who die under suspicious circumstances.
The six surviving Paddock children testified during the three-week trial that Lynn Paddock homeschooled them after the family moved to Smithfield in 2001, but that the instruction gradually devolved into reading the Bible and copying scripture passages. Several of the children, who have moved to new families, are now a grade or two behind their peers.
Sean Paddock was 4, and under the age of compulsory attendance. How many public school children are still abused in NC? Does public schooling prevent it? I’m betting not. How many public school children in NC are “a grade or two” behind? I’m betting at least 25%, the national average. That’s probably equal to the “several” Paddock children.
Would educational oversight have saved Sean Paddock? What really killed him?
Paddock also broke down on the witness stand as she recounted being raised by an abusive mother who drank and took pills.
“There was this big, very heavy PVC pipe that was also flexible, and that’s what she used to discipline us,” she said, adding that she was later placed in a foster home.
After trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, Paddock said, she became interested in adoption upon learning that Dave Thomas, the founder of the Wendy’s fast-food chain, encouraged people to adopt older children.
She and her then-husband, Johnny Paddock, adopted six children between the mid-1990s and 2005, when Sean and his biological brother and sister were placed with the family.
Lynn Paddock testified that some of her adopted children came to the couple with emotional issues and that other families didn’t want them.
So, the state of NC let an abused adult adopt 6 emotionally fragile children and then discontinued any oversight of those children. How would homeschooling oversight (a state agency) protect against the bad judgement of another state agency?
Deborah Artis, a regional director with the Children’s Home Society who worked with Johnny and Lynn Paddock to adopt the children, testified Monday as the first defense witness that four of the adopted children had some emotional problems prior to being adopted.
Artis said she never physically inspected six children placed with a Johnston County couple because the children seemed to be adjusting well to their new surroundings. The adoption agency performs criminal background checks on prospective adoptive parents and offers them parenting classes, she said.
And then there’s Michael Pearl, what a gem and role model.
Lynn Paddock said she and her husband decided to use discipline techniques espoused by the Rev. Michael Pearl, an evangelical minister from Tennessee who publishes books and articles on rearing submissive children. She said swatting children with flexible plastic rods was preferred to spanking because it was less demeaning.
“We liked Michael Pearl’s (system) because it was quick (and) it didn’t demean the child and bring their self-esteem down,” she said.
Michael Pearl should be convicted for murder, right along with Lynn.
And her asshole of a husband.
She described herself as a submissive wife and said she assumed the role of disciplinarian in the Paddock home because Johnny Paddock once got too angry while disciplining one of the children. Her ex-husband helped her purchase the flexible rods, she said.
Johnny Paddock hasn’t been charged in the case, and he said he was willing to testify against his ex-wife, whom he divorced last year while she was in jail awaiting trial
During testimony, Johnny Paddock denied involvment.
(From The News Observer:)
In an aside, Jenkins also condemned Paddock’s former husband, Johnny Paddock, who was not charged in the case.
Johnny Paddock “does not qualify as a parent in any sense of the word,” Jenkins said. As for Johnny Paddock’s claim that he was unaware of the violence in the home, Jenkins proclaimed, “Nonsense!”
When asked outside the courtroom today why Johnny Paddock was not charged, Prosecutor Paul Jackson said, “We can only make a decision based on evidence, not on speculation.”
There’s no need for more oversight to homeschoolers. Homeschooling didn’t kill Sean Paddock, an emotionally unstable Lynn Paddock kiled Sean, helped by Johnny Paddock, Michael Pearl and the State of NC. Michael Pearl and those responsible for allowing this family to adopt should be convicted right along with Lynn Paddock. If a state agency, responsible for placing and providing for the well being of adopted children doesn’t investigate the background of potential parents, or provide the necessary support after an adoption, why would MORE oversight by yet another state agency be proposed to combat child abuse?
Go after those who train parents to abuse. Go after Michael Pearl.
And stop beating your kids in the name of Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t want you to whip your child with a pipe, tie him to a tree, or beat the demons out of him on a county road.