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Lawmaker delays jail-for-spanking plan
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 02/02/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
A lawmaker’s proposal that would have put parents who would place a careful swat on the bottom of their little one enthralled in pursuit of pleasure during the “Terrible Twos” behind bars has been delayed – several times – and opponents say they have reason to hope it will ultimately fail.
“This home-invasion bill has been stopped cold by parents and grandparents who know that to love children is to discipline them and show them the way to live,” said Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, a non-profit, non-partisan pro-family group in California.
“Because so many people have spoken out, the Democrats in Sacramento realize that their liberal agenda is offending a whole lot of people.”
He said Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-San Jose and the second-in-command in the California State Assembly, declined to introduce her bill yesterday, the last day to introduce bills this week. She also had failed to introduce it a week ago, despite published reports she would get the plan launched no later than this week.
“For two weeks, Lieber has publicly pushed to make spanking your own child under age 4 a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Now she’s retreating, as evidenced by two published reports that she intended to introduce her no-spanking bill no later than today.” Thomasson said.
In the Contra Costa Times, an editorial said the bill, “which she says she will introduce this week, is completely unenforceable. Are we to expect a 2-year-old to dial 911 and report a parent for swatting him or her on the behind?”
And in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the report said the bill would be introduced “this week, a week later than initially planned.”
Her office told Thomasson that it still is being worked on, heading toward a legal deadline for introduction of Feb. 23.
“Sally Lieber mistakenly believes that parents who infrequently spank their children should be arrested, and she wrongly guesses that children who were spanked will respond by committing crimes,” Thomasson said. “But the obvious truth is that most children who were appropriately spanked become law-abiding citizens, not criminals.
“Any elected official who supports a ban on spanking is attacking dads and moms and usurping their God-given responsibility to raise their own children.”
The Contra Costa Times’ editorial took a straightforward shot at the issue.
“With all of the pressing problems facing our state, what issue has the knickers of our esteemed lawmakers in such a twist? What burning concern has the ponderous pundits on the cable news shows frothing at the mouth?
“Global warming? Plunging real estate values? Good-paying jobs being shipped off to India every time you turn around? Maybe the governor’s new health care proposal?
“None of the above.
“The latest meaningless, national distraction, is a silly bill proposed by Assembly Pro Tem Speaker Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, that would make it a crime to spank any child 3 years old or younger.”
The editorial’s suggestion? “Get real.”
Earlier, Karen England, of the Capitol Resource Institute, told WND, “If they want to protect children, protect them from predators.”
“Government regulation of parents’ discipline wipes out the right of parents to raise their own children. This is wrong. God gave children to parents, not to the state,” Thomasson said.
England said there already are laws in place to be used when someone steps over the line from disciplining to hitting.
Brad Dacus, of the Pacific Justice Institute, called it yet another effort to expand the reach of government.
“Even without this proposed new law, California gives such wide latitude to Child Protective Services that decent parents often get falsely charged with child abuse,” Dacus said. “How much more if the state tries to outlaw all corporal punishment on young children?”
California’s legislature in the last session turned in an aggressive effort at using the power of the state to mandate families’ behavior. Lawmakers in that session approved a series of “sexual indoctrination” bills that failed only because of gubernatorial vetoes.
The plans would have required the state Board of Education to increase sensitivity to so-called “discrimination” by providing unlimited discretion for officials to withhold state funding from schools considered out of “compliance” with those requirements.
A second plan would have integrated “tolerance training” into history and social science curriculums and started a pilot program to force a “new definition” of tolerance on students. That would require them to not only accept homosexuality but advocate for that.
The third part of the plan would have censored any school teaching materials or activities from “reflecting adversely” upon homosexuals, bisexuals or transgenders.
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