PRESS RELEASE: ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE APPROVES BILL THAT WOULD CRIMINALIZE SPANKING AND THREATEN PARENTAL AUTHORITY (4/15/08) [Excerpts]
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 2943 (Lieber) was approved today by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. If approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the bill would make the ordinary practice of spanking a child by a parent a criminal act. This legislation, veiled as a prohibition of corporal punishment and child abuse, makes no distinction between an acceptable form of parental discipline – a spanking – and the violent act of “brandishing a deadly weapon upon a child.”
Assembly member Sally Lieber, who has publicly stated she opposes spanking of any kind, is continuing her crusade at criminalizing parents who use spanking as a form of discipline. While careful not to include the word “spanking,” AB 2943 would make no distinction between a commonly used, appropriate form of discipline – a spank – and other more violent, inappropriate acts toward children. If a person is convicted of violating this law, the children could be removed from the home and the parent could spend time in jail.