Brave parents should challenge ‘holy spanking’
By Bob Manzella
A New Haven Register Editorial, November 20, 2003

There was a story of a minister in New Haven who was acquited of beating two boys. The minister claimed it was a "holy spanking."

While some may be shocked by the actions of the Rev. Walter Oliver, they should not be. My experience is from over 40 years go.

While attending St. Bernard High School in New London, fellow students were beaten. On one day, a student was pulled out of science class to see the dean about a bad report card. From across the hall, we all listened as he was hit about the face and head. Ten minutes later, he was back in class, his cheeks and lips swollen, blood coming from his nose. He looked like a different person.

We all just sat there; nobody said a word.

The Jesuit priest we all feared had claimed another victim. Another student had been beaten for his own good.

This type of abuse is more common than most of us know. It probably will never end because parents are unwilling to challenge the authority of religious figures.

Through eight years of Catholic grammar school and one year of Catholic high school, I never once came home and spoke of corporal punishment administered by a teacher. We were well brainwashed to keep our mouths shut.

It’s good to see that the boy’s mother, Pamela Paige, had the courage to take on this tyrant. For our children’s sake I hope more parents do.

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