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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Anti-Smacking Law Starts To Bite

If for for nothing else, Labour deserves to be turfed from office for their anti-smacking legislation.

Parents will increasingly come to fear their neighbours and their kid's schools.

Who might "dob them in" for disciplining an unruly child?

Schools and caregivers are also in an unenviable position. Do they report rumoured corporal punishment to the Police or Child, Youth and Family, or do they ignore it?

What if they ignore it and the child is later killed or injured by an unbalanced parent or mum's sadistic boyfriend?

Do they become informants for the state, to cover themselves, or do they put themselves at risk by minding their own business?

With this law, Labour has placed every parent under the surveillance of their neighbours, their community and the state.

From today's Sunday Star/Times

A Wellington mother says her family has been left traumatised by new anti-smacking laws, after her son's school reported her to Child, Youth and Family for smacking him on the hand.

"I don't want to feel like a child abuser, and I don't want to be labelled as a child abuser because I smacked my son," she said. "It's brought a lot of trauma to our family unit and unnecessary stress."

The woman, who did not wish to be named because she says she fears losing her children, says another smacking several months later resulted in a visit from police.

In the first incident, she came home one day in the July school holidays to find a card left by Child, Youth and Family asking her to contact a care and protection officer.

The officer told her the agency had received a complaint from the school after her son had hit another child with a ball. When asked why, the boy told the teacher he had been smacked that morning.

The mother of four said she had smacked him on the hand after he had "thrown a wobbly" instead of getting ready for school. The smack had left no mark.

She said hers was "just an average Kiwi family". Both parents worked, did not smoke or drink or "have any addictions". They smacked rarely, preferring to use time out. She said the care and protection officer had decided not to take the matter any further.

The school was unrepentant when her husband questioned its handling of the matter.

In the second incident, in September, three police officers arrived at her house after she smacked her child outside, and a neighbour complained. The police questioned her and the child separately before deciding not to take the matter any further.

A friend who was at the house at the time, Gabrielle Allen, said the arrival of police was astonishing and intimidating.

"My friend is loud, there's a lot of volume. She's just excitable. I think she's a great mum, and she really loves her children. She's consistent but she's not over the top with discipline at all."

4 Comments:

Blogger Evad Rehtona said...

This has come from that pro-violence outfit Family First. I would take anything they claim with a grain of salt.

As a journalist, I find it repugnant that this rag of a newspaper would print a story like this quoting a completely anonymous source provided by an extremist pressure group. The article has no credence whatever and would not be printed by a reputable newspaper, of which NZ has none now.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous pdm said...

evad rehtona

Get off the grass.

This sort of targeting of a mother providing basic `commonsense discipline' to her child was inevitable once the stupid `anti smacking bill' was passed. Good parents smack their children from time to time - they do not thrash them and the Police and CYFs have better things to do with their time.

If you are in fact a journalist a bit of intelligent reporting before the bill was passed may have helped stop this stupid bill being passed.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Evad-the story did quote a named friend. I would also hardly describe Family first as pro-violence.

I may be completely wrong, but as the father of 2 pre-schoolers the story rang true to me.

Whether this particular incident is true or bogus (I think true), the current law will inevitably produce more such incidents-which I believe will get progressively worse as the informant culture takes hold.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Heine said...

I doubt that "Evad" is a journalist for any major newspapers or media outlets. I would be shit scared if he/she was.

As for naming FF as extremist, good grief! Utter nonsense.

We were promised by Labour and co that stories like this wouldn't occur with the new law, banning parents disciplining their own kids. Laws like this only encourage neighbours to spy on each other and informing on them to the police.... reminds me of another shameful era in world history.

2:59 AM  

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