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Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Claims That Beating Your Child is ‘a Form of Love’

Source: WUNC

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson seems to dislike a lot of things – the LGBTQ+ community, powerful women, Black people, public schools, Jewish and Muslim people, a woman’s right to choose, and paying his taxes – but if there’s one thing he does seem to like, it’s expressing his belief that beating children is “a form of love.”

Robinson’s view that an example of love is “when you hold your young’un by one arm and beat them in a circle because they were bad” is one he expressed in several speeches at churches last year while talking about the concept of love.

“We have perverted the word love,” Robinson told an audience at Trinity Baptist Church in Mooresville in March 2023. “We don’t understand the word love. We don’t understand what love really is. … But how many of y’all know when you hold your young’un by one arm and beat them in a circle because they were bad — how many of you know that’s love too?” While making the comment Robinson pretended to be spanking an invisible child, video of the speech shows.

He made similar comments at Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem in the fall, saying that “love is taking that young’un that got out of line, and holding them by the arm and beating them in a circle. So a lot of people in our society right now, they never had their arm held and been beat in a circle, and it shows.”

Robinson has on more than one occasion called for more discipline in schools. Because of those comments, it’s important that Robinson or his campaign address whether he would support the use of corporal punishment in schools.

WUNC reached out to Robinson’s campaign repeatedly to get his answer about using corporal punishment in schools. The campaign’s spokesperson did not directly answer the question, instead claiming that the comment about beating children in a circle is “just another thirty-second clip from a Democrat tracker twisted completely out of context.”

Attorney General Josh Stein, who is running for governor against Robinson, told WUNC he’s opposed to corporal punishment in schools.

“Corporal punishment in our public schools is not the answer to behavioral issues,” he said. “Every classroom should have a good teacher and every school a strong principal. And they need the support of more school counselors, social workers and nurses to help address student challenges.”

Corporal punishment is still legal in North Carolina’s schools, but no public school districts have used it for the past five years, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

The Robeson County Board of Education voted to stop paddling misbehaving students in 2018. Robeson was one of the last school districts to end corporal punishment.

Although Robinson’s view on corporal punishment in schools is uncertain, his belief that parents beating their kids is just another way of showing love is clear.

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