The book offers instructions on how to properly hit a child as young as six months, directions on how to use plumbing line, wooden spoons, and other objects in order to create a sense of discipline for a child. According to reports there are about 670,000 copies of this book in circulation, and it is especially popular among Christian home-schoolers... here are some examples of issues stemming from the methods referenced in the book:
1. Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Washington. In September, they were charged with homicide after their adopted daughter, Hanna, age 11, was found naked and emaciated in the backyard... she died of hypothermia and malnutrition. She had apparently been deprived of food for days at a time and made to sleep in an unheated barn.
2. Last year Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz of Paradise, California were convicted in the death of their seven year old adopted daughter. They had whipped her for hours, with pauses for prayer... they are serving long prison terms for second-degree murder and manslaughter.
3. In 2006 Lynn Paddock was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her four-year-old son after she had beaten him each day with a plumbing tube.
The Pearl family argues that the unfortunate deaths are due to the parents going overboard... it is not the fault of the book. According the Michael Pearl, people are responsible for their own actions... all he and his wife did was write a book on their personal strategies of raising children. Thus far the Pearls have not been charged with a crime... should they be?