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Family First PR On Children's Commissioner

19 April 2006

Ban smacking. but it's okay to bully - Children's Commissioner

The Children's Commissioner is demanding smacking by good parents to be banned, but is guilty herself of the worst kind of bullying and intimidation.

At a recent conference held in Auckland for social workers to give feedback on s59, they were asked to indicate whether they supported the repeal of s59 (Green MP Sue Bradford's private members' bill which is effectively a ban on smacking) or not.

Out of approximately 60 attendees, only 3 brave souls suggested that a ban would be unnecessary and that an amendment would be more effective. Nobody else dared to say otherwise, no matter what their personal view! It was quite evident that to survive this meeting, you had to support a ban on smacking. Even to be unsure was frowned upon!

The three social workers who were willing to challenge the intimidation were dragged to the front of this gathering and told to stand by the stage in full view of their peers. Two of the workers were told by their colleagues that their jobs were at risk because of their views! (which explains why many organizations are too scared to speak out the truth on the problem with banning smacking for fear of losing their funding or jobs.)

One of the participants said it was humiliating and intimidating.

A Commission employee was then sent to these three renegades and told them they were "people who condone violence towards children." This action was clearly to intimidate and bully them. Even the Commissioner herself targeted the members of this group to question why they did not think the same way as her!

This was quite simply straight out bullying of the worst kind - the bully being a government employee!

The Children's Commissioner wants to ban smacking yet deems it okay to display shameful "schoolyard bullying".

Perhaps we should deal with adult bullying first, before we think about punishing good parents for disciplining their children.

ENDS



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