Waitsel Beard, 62, pastor of Community Baptist Church in Lenoir, went to Stonewall Jackson for a parole violation after breaking into a store. He later served time in prison; he said he was hooked on drugs and in and out of trouble until age 23.
“One time, I simply knew another boy was going to run away. The cottage parent beat me up. He hit me in the stomach, around my head, in my back. He grabbed me by my belt and pushed me back and forth into the cabinet in his kitchen.
“But I’ve seen a whole lot worse to other boys. I saw cottage parents take their fists and hit boys in the face, and blood would spurt everywhere.
“The men sometimes seemed like they really enjoyed it, and most of us felt like that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. That’s what you get for being in trouble. That’s your punishment.”
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And finally, as Mark Twain said: "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."
Enjoy the discussion.