SACRAMENTO, February 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to a report from the Campaign for Children and Families, Sally Lieber, a Democratic assemblywoman from San Jose, CA, is introducing her controversial spanking bill, in defiance of nation-wide opposition, which would criminalize all spanking of any child under the age of 4.
Lieber’s bill would require spanking of a child before the age of 4 to be treated as a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000 and/or a year in jail. In Lieber’s own words, her bill will prohibit “any striking of a child, any corporal punishment, smacking, hitting, punching, any of that.”
The opposition to Lieber’s intrusive bill had claimed a victory for parental rights when she did not introduce it at the beginning of this month as initially expected. Randy Thomasson of the pro-family organization Campaign for Children and Families said, “Any elected official who supports a ban on spanking is attacking dads and moms and usurping their God-given responsibility to raise their own children. This home-invasion bill has been stopped cold by parents and grandparents who know that to love children is to discipline them and show them the way to live.”
California’s Governor Schwarzenegger has voiced curiosity about finding out more about the proposed ban and, while admitting that he has never spanked his children, he had doubts as to the logistical reality of enforcing Lieber’s bill.
Spanking has been a hot topic of debate in recent years with experts on both sides of the spectrum. Many experts who oppose spanking say that research indicates that any form of corporal punishment produces long-term negative effects. In light of this, many Americans have adopted a parenting approach known as “permissive parenting” where ‘dialogue’ and ‘negotiation’ are the key components.
Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and author of the book ‘Dare to Discipline’ condemns the permissive parenting approach and denies that reasonable spanking leaves long-term negative consequences. He says, “A boy or girl who knows that love abounds at home will not resent a well-deserved spanking. One who is unloved or ignored will hate any form of discipline!”
Thomasson also supported a parental right to use reasonable corporal punishment in raising children saying, “Sally Lieber mistakenly believes that parents who infrequently spank their children should be arrested, and she wrongly guesses that children who were spanked will respond by committing crimes. But the obvious truth is that most children who were appropriately spanked become law-abiding citizens, not criminals.”
As reported previously by LifeSiteNews.com, if Lieber’s bill is successful, California will join more than a dozen foreign countries, including Canada, who have implemented spanking bans, most under pressure from anti-family forces at the UN. In 2003, the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child convened and details of the outcome reported that “the Committee recommended that the State party adopt legislation to remove the existing authorization of the use of ‘reasonable force’ in disciplining children and explicitly prohibit all forms of violence against children, however light, within the family, in schools and in other institutions where children might be placed.”.
Lieber, who has no children of her own, has made it clear that she does not distinguish between a legitimate ‘spanking’ and the ‘beating’ of a child. She says, “I think it’s pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child 3 years old or younger. Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?” Laws in every state in the nation forbid the beating of children but if Lieber’s bill is approved, California will be the only state to forbid spanking.
Read Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:
UN Continues to Push for Criminalization of Spanking
California Congresswoman Wants Spanking Made a Criminal Offence on Par with Child Abuse
Parents Claim Victory as California Bill to Ban Spanking is Shelved