Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
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And the Public speak out
CBS 5 Poll: Majority Oppose Calif. Spanking Ban
CBS 5 / KCBS) SAN FRANCISCO Do parents have the right to spank their children? It is a controversial issue, and while a Bay Area lawmaker wants it addressed in Sacramento -- a majority of those surveyed for a new CBS 5 poll expressed opposition to a spanking ban.
In California, it's currently against the law for anyone but parents to spank a child. A proposed new law would make it illegal for them, too, if the child is 3 years old or younger.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) wants the practice of swatting a child on the behind outlawed and is in the process of drafting a bill to do so.
A poll of 500 Bay Area adults conducted for CBS 5 by Survey USA on Thursday found 57% would oppose such a bill, while only 23% would support it. The poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%, showed 11% undecided.
Parents at the playgroup at Parent's Place in San Francisco, non-profit Jewish family child and parents service group, said they don't believe in spanking young children, but they said outlawing it worries them.
Joanna Jhanda as a one year old girl, said she understands the need for a law, but it troubles her: "There are certainly cases of extreme abuse,and those need to be addressed. I don't know if this law would help those children."
Victoria Wylie has a four month old and she's worried about where the law draws the line. She said, "If someone sees me doing something.. what they would consider spanking.. and it's not, I'm a little uncomfortable I'd be under investigation."
The proposed law would make spanking a child under 3 misdemeanor child abuse, an extenstion of current corporal punishment laws.
Violators could spend a year in jail, and pay up to $1000 in fines. Enforcement is unclear.
San Francisco assistant district attorney Paul Henderson prosecutes child abuse cases, and he welcomes a no spanking law.
"If you're going to spank your child, you need to know the limit," said Henderson, "and you need to know that doing it in a way that's cruel or traumatic causes injury, and that you could be prosecuted."
At the parenting classes at Parent's Place, spanking is considered the wrong discipline. Lee Ann Slaton leads discipline classes there. She said, "It teaches a child, if you're bigger you can hit. Violence begets violence.. and they're not learning."
An anti-spanking law in California would be the country's first. Supporters claim the U.S. is far behind some other nations in this issue. According to Lieber, fifteen countries worldwide have outlawed spanking of children, and under international law, it's considered a human rights abuse.
Critics maintain a spanking ban is an intrusion on the family, while supporters call it protecting a defenseless child.