I find it exceedingly strange that this has not yet hit national news. The only news links I find are located in the area of the crime, in the town of (can you believe it?) Paradise, Butte County, California. And yet this murder is already two weeks old. Murder of a 7-year-old girl. Currently in jail are her parents, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz.
On February 6, 2010, 7-year-old Lydia Schatz was (dare I say "apparently?") beaten to death, several times beaten, multiple beatings, which beatings apparently extended over a several-hour span. The muscle tissue underlying the skin was so damaged that her body organs shut down and she died. Her mother called 911 about 1:00 o'clock in the morning to report that her daughter was not breathing.
Lydia's 11-year old sister was hospitalized in critical condition for similar bruising. The other eight of the nine children in the family (six biological children, three adopted) have indicated that the type of beating Lydia received was "normal" punishment in the household. One news article maintains that an older daughter in the family was being taught to administer punishment in this "appropriate" manner.
And why was Lydia beaten? Because she failed (or couldn't) pronounce a particular word from the book she was reading. The parents, Kevin Schatz and his wife, Elizabeth, purportedly were following teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl, founders of No Greater Joy Ministries and authors of the controversial religious parenting book "How to Train Up a Child."
You can read more about this horrifying event and the purported use by Lydia's parents of the ministry espoused by Michael and Debi Pearl by going to TulipGirl's series of posts here and by reading Laurie's "Beauty for Ashes blog" here. Be prepared to be horrified, stunned, dropped to your knees.
The methods espoused by the Pearls may be familiar in some home schooling circles but is considered controversial and refuted by many Christian parents as being unChristlike and unloving as well as abusive and destructive.
Please be in prayer for these children. And go hug your own.
Added later...some more links.
Paul Mathers at Paulus Torchus
Lynn Harris at salon.com
Rebecca Diamond at her blog here