Our Work Against "The Rod" - A Call to Action
By Sue & Steve Lawrence
June 2, 2004

Steve and I first saw an ad for "The Rod" in a homeschooling magazine, Home School Digest. This 22" nylon whip was being advertised for the sole purpose of beating babies and children. I sent off a letter of disapproval to the company that makes these whips, Slide's Manufacturing. I told some friends about "The Rod," and they also wrote to Slide's and to Home School Digest. Home School Digest would not remove the offensive ad, and both Home School Digest and Slide's defended their promotion of this whip with references to some verses in Proverbs of the Bible.

Thus began a year-long campaign to try to stop "The Rod." A group of us has sent many emails, snail mails, and made phone calls. We've gotten Home School Digest taken off Amazon.com, eBay, and many other websites, as well as removed from The Homeschool Almanac. We've gotten the suppliers of the handles for the whips, Hunt-Wilde Corporation, to stop selling handles from their warehouse to Slide's, and to notify their distributors to small companies about the "Rod" problem.

But Slide's continues to sell their whips and Home School Digest continues to advertise them. The Attorney General in Oklahoma, where Slide's is located, will not do anything about them. Several children's advocacy organizations in Oklahoma have been contacted as well, with the same result. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has received hundreds of complaints about "The Rod," and, incredibly, they will not recall this torture device because there is no proof of injuries from its use. Can you imagine a 2 year old showing someone at the CPSC his injuries from "The Rod?" It's just not going to happen.

We have started a petition to the Governor of Oklahoma, Brad Henry. He seems like a really good guy, and quite progressive, and we're hoping he can do something about shutting Slide's down. Please sign and voice your opinions about "The Rod," and join our activist list: http://parentinginjesusfootsteps.org/petition-2.html.

We could really use more activists, and more ideas for actions to take would be appreciated, too! Slide's is giving indications of expanding; they've started a new "Mini-Rod", 12" long for "use in the car," their ads have gotten bigger, and they are now bragging about selling "The Rod" around the world!! The more people who join in this fight against "The Rod," the better chance we have of stamping it out - PLEASE HELP.

Thank you,

Sue & Steve Lawrence http://parentinginjesusfootsteps.org

See related: ALERT - Recall The Rod!; An Urgent Message to Friends of Project NoSpank, December 2003

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