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Ban parents from smacking children, says Children's Commissioner

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 28, 2013


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Comments (12)

PARENTS should be banned from smacking children, according to the Children’s Commissioner Maggie Atkinson.

In an interview with the Independent newspaper, she said the law gives more rights to protection from violence to pets and adults than it does to children.

She told the paper: “Personally, having been a teacher, and never having had an issue where I’d need to use physical punishment, I believe we should move to ban it”, she said. “Because in law you are forbidden from striking another adult, and from physically chastising your pets, but somehow there is a loophole around the fact that you can physically chastise your child. It’s counter-evidential.”

She added: “It’s a moral issue. The morals are that, taken to its extreme, physical chastisement is actually physical abuse and I have never understood where you can draw the line between one and the other. Better that it were not permitted.”The NSPCC has said evidence is building that smacking is "ineffective and harmful to children".

"There are more positive ways to discipline children and a clear message that hitting anyone is not right would benefit all of society," a spokesman said.

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  • cdswllophgwsh  |  December 29 2013, 2:43PM

    While there is no excuse for brutal beatings, spankings are absolutely necessary to raising children. Unfortunately, these Left Wingers with their faux philosophies, get it wrong. And you can see the effect in the decline of civilized behaviour and the rise in violence.

    Rate   4
  • whatagreatday  |  December 29 2013, 11:30AM

    I wonder if this woman would have the same opinion if she taught in an inner city comprehensive school rather than a Grammar School?

    Rate   5
  • supernova1  |  December 29 2013, 10:27AM

    Surely it's the 'threat' of corporal punishment that's kept most children in line over the years. However, there are times when you have to follow through with the threat. The alternative is to take away privileges. Luckily (?) children have so many possessions at such an early age, that it is easy to negotiate.. But that's in the home, where I guess most of the smacking issue takes place, school is a different matter. I have never thought that a small tap on the bottom did any harm, in fact, was good. But the thought of EVER laying a finger on my new Grandson in this way fills me with abhorrence. So as and when he disobeys, it'll be the naughty step without his favourite toy of the moment. The only other thing I would add is I HATE the Government sticking it's nose in. Whether it's banning fox hunting, or slagging off Thomas the Tank Engine, we don't need our lives micro-managed by less than perfect individuals!

    Rate   1
  • Whizzo  |  December 29 2013, 10:09AM

    Mickey Mouse job title and never had kids?? When she submitted her CV how the heck did she get the job??

    Rate   5
  • Starburst22  |  December 29 2013, 9:28AM

    I also forgot to mention a recent quote I received from another "teacher" from an inner city school. "It's not 'teaching' nowadays. It's riot control".

    Rate   4
  • Starburst22  |  December 29 2013, 9:21AM

    The problem with so much of this type of regulation - domestic and professional - is that different people (children included) respond in different ways. IE Some will respond to encouragement rather than smacking, others will see an opportunity to take advantage of a society that removes it. So much of our current legislation has removed any real accountability for some of the more "streetwise" members of our society. Where some apply "reason", others see "weakness". Sadly, the broad brush approach cannot account for human nature.

    Rate 0
  • Whizzo  |  December 29 2013, 9:15AM

    Xmas list for 2014: Straight Jacket and Mouth Gag!! What with Human Rights, Health and Safety and Governed by Brussels I suppose the next idea will be that we cannot tell them off?? God help the next generation!!

    Rate 0
  • raidermanuk  |  December 29 2013, 1:35AM

    This is the woman who said that the killers of Jamie Bulger should not have been prosecuted for his murder and that the age of criminal responsibility should be raised from 10 to 12.

    Rate   9
  • whatagreatday  |  December 28 2013, 8:57PM

    Good job we're not following the rules of the bible: It instructs the stoning to death your unruly child!....and people worship this type of preachment? Amazing! Maggie Atkinson states "Personally, having been a teacher, and never having had an issue where I'd need to use physical punishment, I believe we should move to ban it". Could it be that 'physical punishment' was illegal during the time she was a teacher? In addition, I also understand Maggie Atkinson has no children. Is she aware being a teacher doesn't compare with parenthood? Two completely different rules. Evidence on both sides are ample on whether corporal punishment is effective or not. Now ask the question, since corporal punishment was banned, has behaviour improved or worsened? I hope Maggie Atkinson understands there is a difference between a smacked bottom and a full assault on a child. Is she not exposing this fact to get her point across? If she hides this fact from the general public, what other information is she not disclosing?

    Rate   10
  • shedhead2011  |  December 28 2013, 3:20PM

    Children,s Commissioner, Now that,s what you call a job.

    Rate   -1