Thursday, 25 October 2007

Smacking is wrong

The Government once again turned down the opportunity to completely outlaw smacking of children claiming that it was okay as long as it didn't cause harm. Smacking involves hitting a child. The claim being that unlike adults who can be reasoned with, children require the threat (which sometimes has to be carried out) of physical punishment in order to ensure that they comply with a parental request. Firstly, it is perfectly possible to bring up children to be responsible and well-behaved without ever having to resort to physical punishment (it does however, require a degree of thought and effort). Secondly, if many parents still believe that it is okay to enforce behaviour in this way then why is this option not extended to teachers and other authority figures? If it is okay to smack children, but not adults, at what age does this distinction occur? In law, affray can be caused by motion towards, a smack on another adult would at the least be considered assault. It is never right to smack a child and all it does is teaches the child that bigger people can force smaller people to do what they want by force (don't be surprised then when older siblings smack younger ones, they are, after all, only following your example). Violence leads to violence and a civilised society should find it abhorent in all its forms.

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