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Should spanking be banned?

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Should spanking be banned?


Parents should be banned from smacking children, according to the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Maggie Atkinson told The Independent it was her personal view that the law gives pets and adults more rights to be protected from violence than children, and she favours a total ban, which would see parents face criminal action for corporal punishment.

England's Children’s Commissioner condemns current law for giving pets more rights than children
England’s Children’s Commissioner condemns current law for giving pets more rights than children

“Personally, having been a teacher, and never having had an issue where I’d need to use physical punishment, I believe we should move to ban it”, she said. “Because in law you are forbidden from striking another adult, and from physically chastising your pets, but somehow there is a loophole around the fact that you can physically chastise your child. It’s counter-evidential.”

She added: “It’s a moral  issue. The morals are that, taken to its extreme, physical chastisement is actually physical abuse and I have never understood where you can draw the line between one and the other. Better that it were not permitted.”

The UK’s current rules make it illegal for a parent to smack a child if it leaves a bruise but permit a lighter smack or ”reasonable chastisement”. Corporal punishment is banned in all British public schools.

In the US 19 states still allow corporal punishment in public schools and there is little support for banning it. Spanking at home is legal despite experts saying that spanking harms children.

Many parents defend their right to hit their children though. Some going as far as believing that it is impossible to bring up “good” children without beating discipline into them.

Parental rights are important but should children have rights too? Should those rights include the right to be protected from violence at home?

We’re interested in what you think. Is the Children’s Commissioner for England correct?

Share what you think in the comments below. Should it be against the law to hit your child?


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