Just after 10 a.m. this morning, the Court, in a 6 to 3 ruling [posted at: http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/rec/html/2004scc004.wpd.html ] eliminated much hitting and spanking of children in that country. While the Court did not rule out all hitting of children, as has been done now in 11 European countries, the Court ruling now says:
While Canadian advocates who requested a ruling outlawing any hitting of children are disappointed with this partial victory, U.S. advocates for children's rights say that the time is long overdue for Congress to enact a law outlawing school corporal punishment, which continues to be used in 22 states. Over 300,000 students in U.S. public schools are struck with boards each year, legally, by educators. Among all the developed countries in the world, Only the U.S. and Australia have failed to enact federal laws to end this practice. It has been banned in all Australian states except one, the desert outback Northern Territories.
- School corporal punishment in both public and private schools is banned, immediately. Just as in the 28 U.S. states that now prohibit school corporal punishment, teachers in Canada will still be able to use physical force to remove a student or prevent immediate threats of harm to person or property, but they can no longer be subjected to physical punishment.
- Parents may no longer spank, slap or otherwise use any corporal punishment on children under the age of two or older than 12. Such action would now fall under assault laws.
- Parents may not use any corporal punishment at all on disabled children. Parents may still strike children ages 3 through 12, but may not hit with an object, such as a paddle, belt, switch, etc.
- Parents may not hit an age 3 to 12 child on the head or face under any circumstance. Of the 3 dissenting Justices, 2 wanted the ban to be total, including all corporal punishment of children.
For further info contact:
Nadine Block, Director, Center for Effective Discipline, Columbus Ohio 614-221-8829 www.stophitting.com
Robert Fathman, Ph.D. , President, National [U.S.] Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools 614-798-0031 or 614-766-6688
Canadian Foundation for Children and Youth, 416-970-1633
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