Saturday, February 24, 2007
LAW OF THE LAND
Plan Threatens Parental Rights'
group says proposal still classes discipline as abuse
Posted: February 24, 2007
A California-based pro-family group is launching an alert to parents
that their authority to discipline their own children is being threatened
by a proposal in the state assembly, despite statements made by the plan's
At issue is AB755,
a plan introduced this week by California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber,
D-Mountain View, that is billed as a plan for "corporal punishment."
It would add a new declaration to California's Penal Code that "fatal
abuse" of children "is too often the result of hitting or shaking by
caregivers under the guise of discipline," so "it is therefore wholly
reasonable that the integrity and sanctity of their bodies should be
afforded the greatest protection possible under the law."
"According to the bill, a parent who spanks their child would be placed
on probation for four years, would be forced to attend a 'nonviolent
parental education class' and the child would receive a criminal court
protective order 'protecting the victim from further acts of violence,'"
said Karen England, executive director of Capitol
But, she said, "media outlets are falsely reporting that the spanking
ban has been dropped. In fact, the bill is still a ban on spanking.
Assemblywoman Lieber has claimed that she is no longer going to ban
'spanking.' This is mere semantics as AB755 on its face bans the use of
force in disciplining a child."
England said the announcement by Lieber that her plan is just "a bill
to clarify and strengthen California law protecting children, especially
infants and toddlers," and that "good parents have no reason for concern
as a result of this legislation…" is a typical maneuver in California
"This is a tactic often used by politicians to make their legislation
seem benign when in fact it is still just as bad," England said.
"Parents often use a wooden spoon or ruler to spank their children.
This legislation actually bans the use of 'a stick, a rod, a switch, a
belt' – tools often used by responsible parents in spanking disobedient
children," said England. "As a parent, I am angered that the government is
declaring my disobedient child 'a victim' and intervening in the raising
of my children."
The Lieber plan "creates a 'rebuttable presumption' that when parents
discipline their children, they are abusers," said Meredith Turney, CRI's
legislative liaison. "The government is basically telling parents that
when they use responsible discipline in training their children, they are
"Discipline is used to protect children from disobedient behavior that
could harm them. It is appalling that the government is treating parents
like criminals when there are dangerous sexual predators on our streets,"
"Assemblywoman Lieber is purposely misleading the citizens of
California when she claims to have 'abandoned' the spanking ban. And the
media have become her accomplices in this deception," said England. "Make
no mistake, AB755 is a serious attack on parental authority."
reported just a day earlier, officials for the pro-family
Campaign for Children and Families said Lieber's bill is a specific
attack on parental authority, providing an outright ban on spanking with a
utensil such as a spoon, and leaving it up to judges to decide if spanking
with an open hand is legal or not.
Randy Thomasson, the president of the CCF, a California-based
pro-family group, said it would just be a matter of time before moms and
dads would be arrested and cuffed for trying to discipline a youngster.
"We are calling upon California voters to rise up and demand that the
government keep its big nose out of the family home," he said. "Lawmakers
should focus on protecting children from sexual predators and real
abusers, instead of targeting good, loving parents who implement healthy,
occasionally spanking as part of their children's upbringing."
Thomasson said it's clear that child abuse needs to be prevented. But
it should be handled separately. "Legitimate child abuse provisions in
this bill, such as 'vigorous shaking of a child under the age of three,'
deserve to be in another bill and completely separated from spanking," the
"Does occasional spanking of rebellious children correct them and help
to shape them to be law-abiding adults who respect authority, or does it
transform them into violent criminals?" asked Thomasson. "The proof is in
the pudding. Millions of Americans who were appropriately spanked will
tell you they needed to be spanked. The greatest generation, those who
fought World War II, well remembers the switch and the paddle. They were a
very well-behaved, law-abiding generation."
The proposal had been dissected already in the media. Before its
introduction, the Contra Costa Times said the bill, "is completely
unenforceable. Are we to expect a 2-year-old to dial 911 and report a
parent for swatting him or her on the behind?"
took a straightforward shot at the issue.
"With all of the pressing problems facing our state, what issue has the
knickers of our esteemed lawmakers in such a twist? What burning concern
has the ponderous pundits on the cable news shows frothing at the mouth?
"Global warming? Plunging real estate values? Good-paying jobs being
shipped off to India every time you turn around? Maybe the governor's new
health care proposal?
"None of the above.
"The latest meaningless, national distraction, is a silly bill proposed
by Assembly Pro Tem Speaker Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, that would make
it a crime to spank any child 3 years old or younger."
The editorial's suggestion? "Get real."
Brad Dacus, of the Pacific
Justice Institute, earlier called it another effort to expand the
reach of government.
"Even without this proposed new law, California gives such wide
latitude to Child Protective Services that decent parents often get
falsely charged with child abuse," Dacus said. "How much more if the state
tries to outlaw all corporal punishment on young children?"
"This goes back to [last year] when the gay mandates and cirruculum
came up," England told WND. "It comes up when the national media pays
attention. That's really our only hope in California. We need to be even
California's legislature in the last session turned in an aggressive
effort at using the power of the state to mandate families' behavior.
Lawmakers in that session approved a series of "sexual indoctrination"
bills that failed only because of gubernatorial vetoes.
The plans would have required the state Board of Education to increase
sensitivity to so-called "discrimination" by providing unlimited
discretion for officials to withhold state funding from schools considered
out of "compliance" with those requirements.
A second plan would have integrated "tolerance training" into history
and social science curriculums and started a pilot program to force a "new
definition" of tolerance on students. That would require them to not only
accept homosexuality but advocate for that.
The third part of the plan would have censored any school teaching
materials or activities from "reflecting adversely" upon homosexuals,
bisexuals or transgenders.
If you would like to sound off on this issue, participate in today's WND Poll.
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Original article: World Net Daily
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