Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The State We're In

So it seems that some parts of the US get it, while others just don't get it at all. Via Daryl:

"Last month, a Durham woman used a belt to discipline her children, and she left marks on her 3-year-old. After a day-care worker reported this to authorities, the woman was charged with three counts of felony child abuse and jailed under a $90,000 bond. In contrast, a Robeson County teacher struck a child five times with a wooden plank with holes drilled in it, and the child’s buttocks were covered in bruises. This teacher is still teaching."

According to Project No Spank, there are some twenty plus states where schoolchildren may still be beaten with paddles, so you can sort of see where the spankers from TOSH are coming from.

Although we could claim legal consistency on corporal punishment here in the UK, I guess we shouldn't get too cocky, since Government failed to enact the one useful thing that could have come out of the 2004 Children's Act when it copped out of a full ban on corporal punishment. Instead we have a compromise amendment from a Lib Dem peer to the effect that battery of a child cannot be justified if it amounts to wounding and causing grievous bodily or actual bodily harm or cruelty to persons under age16.

In other words, kids here in the UK do not have rights to personhood under the law since the effect of this compromise is that common assault for correction remains legal for children.

Shame on us.

And so the questions remain: How is it possible to explain to children that non-violence is a superior way to resolve conflicts if we also maintain that it is right and/or necessary to hit children, and this in the light of evidence that many people have been raised successfully without a single tap on the knuckles?

And how, in justifying hitting children, does one justify the laws of assault that apply to adults?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the compromise was actually wise for now, seeing that the way your culture treats children would just mean the further rise of Suppernanny, Jamie Oliver, the ADHD diagnoses and the whole psychology based child training which is not as graphic but equally (if not more)evil!

Your culture has absolutely no clue what childhood is about (even TCS shows that). You are too serious about childhood, too strict, you lack humour, you lack joy, you don't even allow kids to play for the sake of playing anymore, it has to develop some stupid work skill!!! A cancer of seriousness that unfortunately you are spreading everywhere because everyone thinks you are hip and cool because you're a rich
country. :(

Also there is another aspect of this. Do you want to see people
calling the social services on other parents more than they already do? Do you have any idea of the stress of having perfect strangers judging your life?

A parent looses patience and smacks the tantruming kid in the
supermarket kid and bang! Someone calls the police and takes the kid
away to one of those horrible institutions or foster families from hell. Do you have any idea what can happen to children taken away from their parents? There was a big ugly case of pedophilia in my country in one of those institutions. We do not want to encourage mass removal of children from their parents.

More has to change in the law for children to be treated like people
than the abolishing the corporal punishment law. I am sure feminism
was not just about a law passed forbidding husbands hitting their

Yes, it's important parents are not allowed to do hit by law, but more has to change than that! Also, children should choose the punishment in those instances, because I cannot imagine nothing more frightening that forceful being taken away to a foster family and put in a institution where adult predators abound.