ABClocal wrote:(New York - WABC, November 28, 2007) - There is a proposed law causing a lot of controversy Wednesday morning. Should spanking be illegal? Some lawmakers in Massachusetts want to ban parents from spanking their children, even in their own homes.
They say it's just one more way to protect kids from abuse. But many parents say it's government run amuck.
In 29 states, it's illegal for a teacher to spank students. In all 50 states, however, parents are allowed to spank their own children.
One Massachusetts nurse is hoping to change that.
"I think it's ironic that domestic violence applies to everyone except the most vulnerable, children," Kathleen Wolf said.
Today, a bill Kathleen Wolf wrote has its hearing at the statehouse. It aims to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to ban corporal punishment at home.
Taking away the last resort of every desperate housewife.
The very idea of this bill is hugely controversial in Massachusetts, because a lot of parents say the state is trying to take away what's been a tried-and-true method of child rearing: as many a mom has said, "spare the rod, spoil the child."
"We don't spank her, but I think that ought to be a parent's choice," one father said of his daughter.
"I don't want the government telling me how to raise my children," a mother said.
Nineteen countries have banned corporal punishment. And some child rearing experts believe one day the U.S. will do so as well.
"I don't know if it's an idea whose time has come," Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy researcher Lisa Berlin said. "But it's possibly one whose time is coming.
Wolf says she's not recommending that parents who do spank their kids should face jail time, as they do in Sweden, or fines, as they do elsewhere.
"I don't think the idea is to punish people," she said. "I think the idea is to give them the support that they need."
Even when it comes to enforcing her own bill, she would spare the rod.
Ban spanking and don't punish the people who break the law?
I just don't understand people like this. I really don't.