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Spanking ban gets a hand, takes a hit

January 24, 2007

Re "A spanking ban: Are we gonna get it?" Jan. 20

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber's (D-Mountain View) proposed anti-spanking bill is a step in the right direction for our state. It's absurd that California (rightly) deems it a human rights violation if, for example, a teacher punishes preschoolers by making them walk silently with their hands placed on their heads, yet when a parent strikes their child it is considered "good old-fashioned discipline."

Spanking teaches children fear and violence, and it is almost always motivated by a parent's own impulsive anger rather than any real desire to modify behavior. It is the lazy parent's way out.

ROBERT OURIEL

Brentwood

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Why did it take so long for someone to speak out on behalf of children who are not only spanked but beaten and abused every day?

You only need to contact the state Department of Social Services and interview a social worker about the countless children who have to be removed from their parents. Some parents are absolutely out of control and need a law to stop them from hitting their children. Lieber will one day be called the shining light for all children. Let's support this brave lady.

CECELIA AND CLIFF WAESCHLE

Malibu

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A spanking ban is well-intentioned but mostly unenforceable. If a parent-offender can be put in jail for this offense, who will be caring for the spanked child during that period? Would the state then have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to imprison the offender and at least as much to house the child? Has Lieber ever questioned how much harm this folly would do to the entire family?

I do not believe in spanking, but I have seen some children in public who could benefit from a little swat on the butt. Before the government ever considers banning something as personal as spanking (as opposed to beating), we must first find out the long-term consequences of spanking on children.

JOHN T. CHIU

Newport Beach

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The core issues underlying a spanking ban are the relative rights of parents versus the state in the rearing of children. Throughout human evolution, parents -- not the state -- have raised children, and we still are here. In Lieber, let us hope that we have not found the missing link.

GORDON E. FINLEY

Miami

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