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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  1999   :  CA Domestic Jun 1999

-- THE ARCHIVE --


CANADA

Domestic CP - June 1999



The Calgary Sun, 1 June 1999

Courting parental discipline

Absurd changes in law would turn parents into criminals

By Eric Lowther

Some well-meaning but possibly inexperienced child-care "experts" believe all parental spanking should be outlawed.

And some child-advocacy lawyers have launched a court challenge to do just that.

It is my belief the courts should not make criminals out of parents who use reasonable disciplinary measures with their kids. Removing the rights of parents to discipline their children will mean more state intrusion into family life and turn the vast majority of parents into criminals.

A lobby group called the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law is now trying to limit parental discipline. Aided by $40, 000 in taxpayers' money, compliments of the federal Court Challenges Program, it has filed a court challenge against Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which states a parent may use corrective force toward a child, "if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances."

Real abuse must not be tolerated. However, Sec. 43 simply allows a parent to "push the reset button" on a hysterical or rebellious kid, without fear of the social workers. Removing Sec. 43 would in fact harm efforts to target real child abuse. Police would be forced to take parents into custody for questioning and to lay charges.

If you use reasonable correction, you would risk public humiliation and separation from your children. Ironically, your children would suffer the most.

If we get to this point, it will not have been the decision of duly elected parliamentarians, responding to calls from their constituents. The battle over spanking, like so many other social policy questions, isn't being debated in Parliament. It's being decided by unelected judges. Once again, we see a lobby group using tax dollars to make an end-run around the democratic process.

In court, "child's rights" advocates state that corporal punishment violates the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. In fact, the Convention says nothing about outlawing parental discipline. Yet in 1995, the U.N. criticized Canada for having Sec. 43 on the books, and it will surely do so again this year, after Canada submits its second U.N. Convention compliance report.

Anti-discipline lobbyists won't tell you that the convention has no democratic legitimacy; it was never debated nor voted upon in any Canadian legislature.

These lobby groups must rely on the courts because they have neither the scientific research nor public support to repeal Sec. 43 democratically:

- A chair of the annual American Academy of Pediatrics conference insists: "There's no evidence that a child who is spanked moderately is going to grow up to be a criminal or antisocial or violent."

- In the first two years of the Swedish spanking ban, 22,000 children were seized from their homes by social workers, itself is a form of child abuse.

Brock University and University of Manitoba studies find that 70-75% of parents use corporal punishment. A Justice Department document notes that 67% of Canadians did not favour physical disciplining of children being made a criminal offence.

Real child abuse and neglect must be quickly addressed, but parents should have the prerogative to discipline within limits set by Sec. 43. Studies like the Ontario Incidence Study of Abuse show that for over 99.5% of children, parental authority is not abusive.

Parents, not governments, are best suited to determine the needs of their children.

Removing Sec. 43 of the Criminal Code will make criminals of loving parents and will cause more harm than good. Maintaining the legal acknowledgement of reasonable corporal punishment shows respect for democratic process and respect for Canadian parents.


© Copyright 1999 from The Calgary Sun unauthorized reproduction prohibited.



Calgary Herald, 9 June 1999

Letters

Spanking is for the best

Re "Spanking experts can't hit on agreement," Calgary Herald, June 5.

One of the most costly aspects of today's society is the widely acclaimed notion that the answer to our problems is to be found through education. Consequently, we are submerged by a plethora of "experts" sporting collegiate decorations and selling their wares on a variety of subjects. The effects of this social decline is being most sorely felt in the arena of children's upbringing.

It would help us all if these people would just stop occasionally and listen to the supreme expert, He who wrote the Bible.

What needs to be considered is that God established, from the beginning, that the pursuit of knowledge without His guidance would lead to disaster. One consequence of the failure to keep this edict is that babies are born naughty -- i.e. "in sin." Subsequently revealed wisdom suggests it is best to train the young ones to refrain from this naughtiness by the application of discipline enforced by physical retribution.

The thinking that leads to the idea that children should not, under any circumstances, be spanked is the cause of most of the problems in schools today.

David Baynes

Calgary



Ottowa Sun, 13 June 1999

Spanking speech gives goofy gripe

By Earl McRae

Things must really be slow down at the Ottawa-Carleton Children's Aid Society.

The bleeding-heart, self-proclaimed, kiddie experts want you charged with a crime if you spank your kid when your kid deserves a spanking.

Better, preaches the society, to deprive the little dumpling of a privilege.

Nice to know the reason the geniuses at the CAS who want you branded a criminal for spanking your kid are so well-balanced and rational is because, as kids, they never got spanked by mommy or daddy; otherwise, like all adults who got spanked by mommy or daddy as kids, they'd not be working for the Children's Aid Society, but the Canadian penal system busting rocks and making mailbags.

After all, that's what getting spanked by your criminal parents does: Turns the kid into a rotten, no-good adult bent on a life of assault, robbery, rape, and murder.

Of course, if little sugar cake didn't get his butt whacked by his parents every time he told them "Drop dead, I'll do as I please, you can't stop me," he'd indubitably grow up to become a paragon of human perfection, a model citizen, undoubtedly qualified for a job at the Children's Aid Society where he'd immediately become a world authority on parenting as opposed to you who -- because you might have spanked your kid, once, twice, or more -- are a know-nothing, ignorant, criminal savage.

So, remember: The next time you're in the supermarket and see mommy or daddy give little rose petal a good couple of whacks on the rear end for refusing to stop tossing the eggs around the aisles, make sure you dial 911 on your cell phone and have the cops come and arrest these psychopathic, horrid parents.

But, don't stop there -- with little puddin' and pie having been then taken away from the criminals raising him, phone the Children's Aid Society and arrange to adopt him.

I'm sure he'd be delighted to be in a home where, after he throws his boot through the TV screen because he doesn't want to go to bed, you'll say to him sweetly:

"Now, now, precious snookums, that's the fourth time this week you've done that and we've looked the other way; one more, darling, and mommy and daddy, as painful as it is for us, will have to deny you your granola bar in your school lunch bag tomorrow."

Oooh, the dread of it. The prospect of three or four whacks across the bare, fleshy bum and being sent to his room is nothing compared to the terrifying prospect of losing that granola bar -- especially if the kids at school who share their granola bars have run out. Even better, he won't have to phone the cops to have his parents arrested and charged with beating up his bum; only -- should he choose -- arrested and charged with depriving him the necessities of life.

Emotional abuse, you know. Cruel and unusual punishment.

Lawyer: "Your Honour, the reason my client stands before you charged with depriving his son the necessities of life -- in this case his granola bar -- is that when he, himself, was eight years old he was permanently traumatized by the act of his own parents, as punishment for him throwing rocks through the school windows, taking away, for two days, his right to stay up until 4 a.m. every morning. He could only stay up until 3."

Judge: "How did he react to the, uh, punishment?"

Lawyer: "Set fire to the family car, your Honour."

Judge: "At which time his parents, I hope, gave him a good licking across the ass?"

Lawyer: "No, your honour, they took away his right, for three days, to stay up until 3. He could only stay up until 2."

Yes, it's truly shocking to learn from the Children's Aid Society that all the millions of upstanding, decent, caring, and loving parents across this country who spank their kids the way they were once spanked as kids are a bunch of common criminals who should be arrested and charged.

The interim executive director of the CAS is one Len Kennedy, and he pontificates that the purpose behind the criminalization of spanking is NOT to burden the courtrooms with, get this, trivial cases, but he doesn't define trivial in the case of spanking.

Here's trivial, Len Kennedy: Your society's goofy blatherings on the criminalization of spanking.



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