More and more, people are moving away from the idea that hitting a child is the best way to discipline them. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with their official opinion on spanking: it doesn't work.
They call for an outright ban on the practice, saying it doesn't work and harms the development of children's brains.
In the US, corporal punishment, or physical punishment administered at school, is outlawed in 31 states, but is still used in 19 others. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming all continue to allow corporal punishment.
One Tennessee mother is hoping to change that and she has good reason for it.
"Apparently in Macon County Tennessee it is acceptable for the principal to leave welts and bruises across both sides of your child's bottom from a paddle?!" Ashley Lauer wrote on Facebook. "This pic was taken 2 days after the incident and my child was wearing his underwear, shorts and pants at the time."
The picture she shared shows a very bruised bottom, allegedly made from a paddle. The photo has since been shared thousands of times and received just as many comments.
There's no indication about what caused the problem in the first place, but that's not really the issue here. Lauer says that if she had been the one to leave the marks she believes she would have lost her son.
She might be right.
Many of the comments join Lauer in expressing outrage, but just as many accuse her of over reacting.
"Good GOD people.That is a paddling, nothing more. Damn, this is exactly what is wrong with this world," wrote Jim Holder on the Facebook post.
No one disagrees that, at times, a child needs to be punished. What is at issue is whether physical harm is an effective way to do it. Many studies have shown that withholding items a child likes is more effective to curbing bad behavior than causing pain.
A spanked child doesn't fear the paddle, but he'll always want to keep playing his video game.
With how much we know now, it's shocking that so many places, and people, still want to hit kids.