A so-called anti-spanking state assembly bill is dead – for this year, at least.
The bill, AB 755, introduced last year by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View), would not have forbidden spanking with an object. Still, said the bill’s critics, its practical effect would have been to make criminals out of those who spank with an implement, such as a small paddle or ruler.
According to the bill, “when determining whether or not a defendant willfully caused any child to suffer, or inflicted unjustifiable physical pain, or mental suffering [a misdemeanor offense], the finder of fact may consider,” among other points, whether the defendant used an “implement, including, but not limited to, a stick, a rod, a switch, an electrical cord, an extension cord, a belt, a broom, or a shoe.” The use of such instruments would not have been sufficient to prove guilt, but “its weight and significance, if any, is for the finder of fact to decide,” said the bill.
The bill failed to pass the Assembly Appropriations Committee by a Jan. 25 deadline. No vote was taken on the bill.
A Jan. 29 news release from the California-based Child and Family Protection Association and the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association said that many California parents who had been alerted about the bill called their legislators “and sent a strong message encouraging them: 1) to let AB 755 die without being voted on in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and 2) to dissuade them from considering writing any such ‘anti-spanking’ bill in the future.”
HAVE YOU BEEN|
TO THE NEWSROOM?