An Indiana mother who is currently facing charges of battery on a person less than 14 years old and neglect of a dependent has invoked the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act in order to justify the beating she gave her son as a form of punishment.
The mother, 30-year-old Kim Par Thaing, punished her 7-year-old son by beating him with a coat hanger after she allegedly found him showing his private parts to his 3-year-old sister. After physically punishing both children, Thaing stated that she demanded that the children pray for forgiveness.
According to Thaing's defense, the punishment she gave to her son was covered within the scope of the state's Religious Freedom Law, and being Christian, she is given the right to physically punish her child in a way that she seems appropriate. She also cited a number of verses in the Bible for her defense, especially the lines which warned parents about sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
Thaing's defense also cited Proverbs 23:13-14, which states that parents should "not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol."
Others, however, believe that the punishment she gave her children, especially her son, was far more than just not sparing the child from the rod.
The extreme punishment she gave her child was brought into light after her son's teacher patted him on the back. After the child winced in pain, the state Department of Child Services was immediately called.
Upon checking, it was found that the little boy had a total of 36 bruises on his back, arm and thigh. A notable loop mark on the child's ear suggested that the child was hit hard with a coat hanger, which investigators later confirmed.
Thaing, who continues to challenge the case against her, is set to face the Jury on October. She is also currently undergoing parenting classes which emphasize discipline methods that are absent of any physical punishment.