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Conroy 'Paddling' Bill

August 20, 1994

I have been following Assemblyman Conroy's "paddling" bill. I am astounded that such a bill would receive the attention (it) has.

While most Californians are justifiably outraged with the increase of graffiti, we must not use our outrage and frustration to sanction actions that would otherwise be considered child abuse. Like all forms of discipline of children we must design a response that will teach respect for personal and public property, and actually change behavior rather than just punishing behavior. We must address the causes of the problem as well as the solution. There are many nonviolent strategies that could be employed to accomplish this result.

The comments made by boxer Tony (The Tiger) Lopez in support are irresponsible at best. He is obviously not an expert on child abuse or even child-rearing.

I often speak in high schools and colleges about child abuse and child abuse prevention. The subject of spanking children almost always comes up. A small number of students believe that spanking children under certain circumstances is an acceptable form of discipline. However, when I asked them if they could find a nonviolent way to accomplish the same result, which would they choose, without exception they choose the nonviolent way.

It is possible to successfully raise children without hitting them.

BARBARA J. OLIVER

Dana Point

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