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Domestic CP - June 2004

Corpun file 13494

WCVB-TV Boston on line, 1 June 2004

Anti-Spanking Resolution Eyed

Man Upset Parents Spank Children

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- A Brookline man wants his town to pass a resolution that urges parents not to spank their children as punishment.

NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross reported that the issue of corporal punishment is on the agenda this week at a town meeting.

Ron Goldman wants town officials to approve an anti-spanking resolution. The resolution encourages parents and adults to refrain from corporal punishment and urges parents to use alternative, nonviolent methods of discipline.

"I can't think of anytime you should spank a child. I think there are other things you can do," resident Fred Kramer said.

"Children might be more likely to hit their siblings or more likely to get into aggressive behavior with kids at school and even as adults, might be more likely to participate in spousal abuse. This is pretty serious," Goldman said.

Goldman is an engineer and does not have children. He cited statistics that show 1,200 children die each year in the United States from corporal punishment.

"We tell our children not to hit others, so why are we hitting them ourselves?" Brookline resident Phoebe Ramler said. "I think it just promotes a culture and a climate of violence and physical aggressiveness."

Most residents agreed that spanking does not do any good, but they don't want the government telling them what to do.

"I don't think the government or the Town Hall or City Hall can talk to that matter or should rule. I think spanking is a parent's responsibility," Brookline resident Christina Chandler said.

Goldman said that he had the time and the interest to research the issue.

"It's important to note that 11 countries have taken national policy positions opposing corporal punishments. Brookline, as a town, certainly can follow in that step," he said.

Copyright 2004 by TheBostonChannel. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 13605

Boston Herald, 4 June 2004

Anti-spank proposal bottoms out

By Jennifer Rosinski

The people of Brookline avoided voting on a citizen's proposal to chide parents who spank and pinch their tykes by shelving the measure indefinitely at last night's town meeting.

The proposal, presented by childless engineer Ron Goldman, was not meant to outlaw corporal punishment, but to ask parents to find other forms of discipline.

Town Meeting member Ben Birnbaum, a father of three, disliked the thought of telling parents what to do. "I think you can raise a good kid in a number of ways," he said. "I know children who occasionally got a smack on the butt who turned out fine."

Birnbaum's words made child advocate Laurie Couture shake her head and yell "No!" - which angered Town Meeting members.

"There are non-Town Meeting members that are screaming in the back of the room," one woman hollered.

"Hit 'em," chirped one man, drawing laughs.

 The spanking measure was shelved on a vote of 105-78.

Copyright by the Boston Herald and Herald Interactive Advertising Systems, Inc

blob Follow-up: 18 November 2004 - Brookline rejects measure on spanking

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