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California Spanking Ban Going, Going, Gone

AB 755 would have biased authorities against good parents


Contact:  Campaign for Children and Families Agency Contact, 530-405-4095 ext. 2


SACRAMENTO, June 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- California's spanking bill, which lumped good parents who use traditional methods of child discipline together with bad parents who are hateful, harmful child abusers, has died in committee. AB 755, by Democrat Assemblywoman Sally Lieber of San Jose, was "shelved" Thursday, May 31 in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


"This is a relief for the tens of thousands of parents and grandparents who called and emailed Sacramento to protest this home-invasion bill," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, a leading pro-family organization in California that fought against AB 755. "Thank God for small favors in the liberal California Legislature. Apparently, the Democrat leaders decided it was becoming politically harmful for them to be viewed as the party that sent good parents to jail."


How AB 755 targeted parents who spank with a switch, a paddle, a stick, or a slipper:


  1. Specific inclusion of examples of legitimate spanking methods mixed with clear examples of child abuse would have biased authorities against loving parents. Because AB 755 made specific changes to the Penal Code, all mandatory reporters, including teachers, police officers, social workers, counselors and clergy would have been trained to regard parents who spank with an implement as potential child abusers.


  1. The inclusion of a "nonviolent parental education class" further demonstrated that AB 755 targeted loving parents who occasionally spank with a switch, a paddle, a stick, or other traditional child-rearing methods. Existing law already allows judges to order convicted child abusers into "a child abuser's treatment counseling program." There was no reason for a "nonviolent parental education class" if AB 755 didn't expand the definition of child abuse to include certain types of spanking. The "nonviolent parental education class" provision was obviously created for nonviolent parents who use an implement to spank, but cannot legally be ordered into existing counseling for child abusers, which is indeed violent.


  1. By focusing juries on a switch, a stick, a belt, or a slipper, AB 755 attempted to create bias against good parents who occasionally use these traditional spanking implements. This instruction was completely unnecessary to convict bad parents who physically injure their children. Juries already have broad authority to convict parents who cause a child great bodily harm, suffering, or unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering by any means.