B.C. parents convicted of assault for spanking teen who sent nude photos on Snapchat

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How to keep kids safe in a digital world
WATCH: As smartphones and social media become bigger parts of our lives, experts say parents need to start the conversation early with teens about staying safe. Nadia Stewart explains – Jan 29, 2016

SALMON ARM, B.C. – A British Columbia mother and father who used a plastic hockey stick and a skipping rope to spank their 14-year-old daughter have been found guilty of assault with a weapon.

A provincial court heard the couple from Salmon Arm, B.C., wanted to punish their daughter for sending nude photos to a young man over the Internet and instead of being grounded, the teen chose the spanking.

Her father used a mini hockey stick two or three times on his daughter’s buttocks over her pyjama pants and when her mother came home, she delivered a similar punishment with a skipping rope.

READ MORE: New Westminster police talk to parents about how to keep kids safe on social media

When the girl went to school with lacerations and bruises, her friends told administrators, who called RCMP.

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The father testified during the trial that he had no clue that the law doesn’t allow corporal punishment or that he might be breaking the law when he spanked his daughter.

WATCH: Two B.C. parents were convicted of assault for spanking their teen daughter over nude photos. Nadia Stewart reports.
Click to play video: 'Social media safety for children and teens'
Social media safety for children and teens

Judge Edmond de Walle said he was troubled by the father’s denial of the girl’s bruising as described by her friends and there was no evidence he looked at the girl’s injuries after the spanking.

“The testimony of the father regarding the injuries to his daughter suggests that he is downplaying the seriousness of the events that took place in the garage of his home,” he said in his ruling posted online earlier this month.

“At the very least the father’s evidence leads me to conclude that he gave little thought, if any, to the possible injuries suffered by his daughter.”

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READ MORE: Spanking children could soon be illegal in Canada

The judge said the child knew her parents believed the discipline came from their adherence to the Bible, which they said advocates the use of the “rod” to spank, rather than the hand, as hands are to be used as instruments of love.

De Walle found the teen could not have consented to such a punishment given the amount of force applied, the use of weapons and seriousness of the assault.

He agreed that any reasonable parent would be concerned about their teen sending nude pictures, but to suggest that responding to such acts with a spanking would educate the girl is simply not believable or acceptable.

“The parents took no educative or corrective steps by seeking out expert help or any other assistance to discuss their daughter’s actions with her. Their actions were solely punitive and not corrective.”

De Walle also said the punishment was punitive and degrading.

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