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Domestic CP - June 2007
Sacramento Bee, California, 1 June 2007
Spanking bill rejected
By Jim Sanders
California legislation that attracted national attention for proposing to ban parental spanking died with a whimper Thursday in a watered-down form rejected by lawmakers.
Assembly Bill 755 was shelved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, had stripped the spanking prohibition from the bill in February because it had attracted massive opposition and stood no chance of passage.
In its final version, rejected on Thursday, AB 755 proposed statutory language designed to make it easier to prosecute corporal punishment.
State law currently bans corporal punishment if it inflicts physical pain or mental suffering that is unjustifiable, which Lieber claims is a loophole hampering prosecution.
AB 755 would authorize juries to infer that the punishment was not justifiable if it involved various specific acts, ranging from vigorous shaking to striking with a belt to interfering with a child's breathing.
Copyright © The Sacramento Bee
New Albany Tribune, Indiana, 17 June 2007
Spanking isn't so bad, is it?
By Lindon Dodd
By LINDON DODD
A Sellersburg father was arrested for spanking his 7-year-old son with a belt this week. I know nothing about this incident past what I read in The Evening News and The Tribune, therefore I won't make a comment on this case. I can tell you I believe in spanking children and in some cases I think a belt is appropriate.
I have friends whom I respect who do not believe in any form of corporal punishment and have good kids. I know many more people who do not believe in corporal punishment who have kids who behave like spoiled brats with absolutely no respect for their parents or any other adults. I believe with all of my heart that the genesis of the out of control discipline and lack of respect in the public school system can be traced back to the day corporal punishment was taken away as an option for administrators.
Cameron is now 12 years old and hasn't had any form of corporal punishment in probably three years. Prior to that he did get occasional spankings along with varied other forms of punishment and behavior control. There is no golden panacea for all kids in every circumstance. I absolutely do not believe in child abuse or "beating" your children. If you do not understand the difference between a spanking and a beating, please do not use corporal punishment as one of your child rearing strategies.
Most everyone person I know of my generation received corporal punishment as a child. Most of us have no scars (physical or psychological) to show from our rearing (pun intended). I am sure that is because of the other side of loving parents who use corporal punishment. That is the balancing of that one small part of our parenting with positive reinforcement techniques and good old fashioned love and affection. My son has received exponentially more hugs and kisses than he ever has spankings. In almost every case I feel that Kim and I exercised good judgment in doling out the appropriate numbers of each of those categories when they were needed. That said, parental guilt is still a constant among those of us involved in the parenting game.
There was a local councilwoman in California last year who wanted to outlaw spanking and make it an offense in itself punishable with fines and jail time. Not surprisingly, she was a single woman who had never birthed or raised a child. I have seen many child psychologists on talk television rail about how a certain percentage of criminals in this country were raised with corporate punishment. I will readily debate that from my generation of all of us who have no criminal record my guess is 95 percent or higher were the recipients of some form of corporal punishment either at home or in school.
Another thing fairly common in my childhood was a smack to the face when a child spoke in a disrespectful manner to an adult. Usually one of those would cement a child's decision not to talk back or speak crudely to an adult. It is certainly not unusual to hear children speak to their parents in public today in tones that were unheard of a generation ago. Apparently, the "Time Out" parents don't mind Little Johnny expressing themselves in such a disrespectful manner in a public setting. In my childhood days it would have absolutely been a rare thing to witness.
A child needs to know boundaries and rules. When a child breaks the rules or exceeds those boundaries the punishment must be known and be consistent. Sometimes you can't be a friend to your child rather you must be the one who doles out the necessary and appropriate punishment. It is very important to have the respect of a child.
On Fathers Day we are left to ponder our roles as fathers. Surely there will always be some second-guessing on the part of any parent worth their "World's Greatest Father" mug. I stand vindicated by my choices as the proof is standing in front of me when I watch my son politely address those around him, always rush to hold open a door for a senior citizen or a female, and universally exhibit good judgment and behavior in the appropriate setting.
Perhaps my proudest moment came from a person who makes their living as a clown at children's events who observed Cameron at a young age standing patiently in line and politely asking, "Sir, could I please have a balloon dog." Children all around him were cutting in line and demanding multiple animals. After Cameron's obvious and sadly out of the norm public behavior, the clown stepped out of character and walked over to me and shook my hand saying, "Dad, that doesn't happen by accident." That was as good a gift as I will ever receive enclosed in Fathers Day wrapping.
I do wish for that father in Sellersburg to somehow manage to have a Happy Fathers Day.
Lindon Dodd is an Otisco resident. His column appears on Sunday.
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