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Parenting is Bradford's Target

Parenting is Bradford's Target

Has anyone read the Justice and Electoral Select Committee's report on Bradford's Bill to ban smacking?

It appears to actually extend the use of smacking and other forms of reasonable force into areas many parents wouldn't have thought of before. But the one area where responsible parents should definitely use reasonable force in the training and discipline of their children is the one area the Committee specifically ruled out of bounds: the correction of children.

The Committee has decided not to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act as Bradford's Bill wanted. Instead they've rewritten Section 59. In it they outline four areas wherein reasonable force can legitimately be used by parents. Now remember, Bradford's objection to Section 59 was that it allows parents a defence of reasonable force when correcting their children, but that is the only motivation Section 59 allows. This new rewrite, however, allows reasonable force - smacking - for a whole range of other motivations, but not for correction.

According to the rewrite of Section 59, parents can smack their children if it will stop them from an act of swearing or stealing. But if the child refuses to apologise for swearing or to give back the stolen item, the parent cannot smack or use any other kind of reasonable force, including time out, for this would be deemed as corrective, a motivation and purpose of reasonable force the rewrite specifically forbids.

So we see that Bradford was never really interested in stopping parents from smacking or using reasonable force with their children. It is parents correcting their children that she objects to. It is apparently her goal to stop parents from performing one of their core tasks as parents: correcting their children's behaviour.

ENDS

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