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Man Charged With Murder In Baby's Death

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On Feb. 14, a North Carolina man was charged with murder after his girlfriend's baby died.

Dylon James Kirkpatrick, 26, was initially arrested for abusing the baby on Feb. 9, reports The News & Observer.

He was charged with one count each of felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury, Fox 8 reports.

Yet on Feb. 10, those turned into murder charges after the child passed away.

Two days before, deputies and emergency responders rushed to save the infant's life after receiving calls he was unresponsive.

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The child was transported to Randolph Hospital before being taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Brenner Children's Hospital.

The next day, Kirkpatrick -- who is not biologically related to the infant -- was arrested and charged.

Kirkpatrick is now in jail with no bond.

It's not the first time a North Carolina resident has captured national attention for child abuse.

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WAVY recently reported that public school teachers and principals in two North Carolina districts are legally allowed to hit their students as long as they have parental permission.

Graham and Robeson County public schools continue to beat misbehaving students, reportedly hitting 75 kids last school year.

"We've got more than 90 studies that show that there are negative effects [from the use of corporal punishment]," Tom Vitaglione, with the group "NC Child," said. "There's no studies showing a positive effect."

"[The law is] about as close as you can come to sanctioning child abuse," Vitaglione added.

Over the years, groups like Vitaglione's have fought hard to ban such practices in various other North Carolina districts -- and achieved success.

"We've been working one-by-one with local school systems across the state," Vitaglione explained

"We feel it's really important to try to break this cycle, and we're happy that it's happened in 113 of the school districts,"  he added. "We hope that the last two will come on board soon."

The districts' punishments have since sparked controversy, producing a diverse range of responses.

Asked to comment on the two districts, State Superintendent Mark Johnson echoed similar sentiments to Vitaglione's.

"While this is a local decision, we know that there are more effective and constructive ways of enhancing discipline and ensuring order than by using corporal punishment," he said.

"I didn't even know that," parent Ken Harris said while picking up his first-grade daughter from a school in one of the districts. "It seems like they might need a little reform there."

However, some support the districts' use of corporal punishment.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with it," one man said while he waited to pick up his fourth-grade grandchild. "When I came up as a young boy, we were punished when we did wrong."

Sources: The News & Observer, Fox 8, WAVY / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Carin Araujo via Wikimedia Commons, PicFreak/Wikimedia Commons

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