|"Spare the rod, spoil the child?" No, spare the rod, stay out of jail. -- Scotland|
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Spank a child, do the time!
Law banning 'mild physical discipline' takes force
By WND Staff
If you physically discipline a child in Scotland, you must be prepared to do time.
That's according to a new law enacted Saturday banning "mild physical discipline" that authorizes police to investigate, charge and jail anyone for the offense.
The Scottish Parliament, in the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019, now calls such discipline "assault."
Sociologist Ashley Frawley told the Herald newspaper of Scotland the objective of the law doesn't appear to be protecting children.
"The smacking ban has more to do with punishing parents than preventing the mistreatment of children," she wrote. "Discouraging smacking is fine. Many parents choose not to use it. But should we really be dragging parents to court for using light discipline?"
Throughout the campaign for the law, she pointed out, no one was able to offer "reliable scientific evidence whatsoever to suggest that mild physical discipline does any harm to a child."
She also warned that the government really has made no effort to warn parents who now may be subjected to a criminal investigation for managing their families.
"Other major cultural changes like the smoking ban were heralded through TV and radio adverts, posters and public notices. But parents in Scotland are supposed to have a sixth sense when it comes to the ban on smacking," she explained. "The first some parents will hear of the ban will be when they answer the phone to a social worker, or answer the door to a police officer, after being reported for using physical discipline."
Should parents spank their children?
WND previously reported the government issued a "guidance" advising people who see a parent disciplining a child physically to call police immediately and report a "crime in progress."
The Herald Scotland reported the The government guidance stated: "If a parent or carer physically punishes or disciplines their child they can be prosecuted with assault. Under the current law, depending on what happened, the defense of 'reasonable chastisement' may be available to them."
The government said the new law means children will have "the same legal protection from assault as adults."
"Restraining a child is about making sure that they are safe and will not come to harm. But this new law is not about that," the government says. "It’s about removing the defense of 'reasonable chastisement'. If you stop your child from coming to harm, you’re protecting them. For example, if you pull your child out of a busy road, you’re protecting them. But if you smack your child afterwards, you’re physically punishing them."
The U.K.'s Christian Institute noted that last year, the Scottish government's consultation on a spanking ban showed that 97% of submissions by members of the public were opposed to a ban, while just 3% supported it.
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