People Are Seriously Mad At The Government For Rejecting A Ban On Smacking Kids

A lot of people are in complete and utter disbelief after the government rejected calls for physical punishment of children – such as smacking – to be fully banned in England.

In Wales, Scotland and Jersey, any type of corporal punishment – for example, smacking, hitting, slapping and shaking children – is illegal.

The NSPCC and Barnardo’s children charities have said England must follow suit, according to BBC News.

But the government has confirmed it won’t be making any changes and a Department for Education spokesperson told the news site it “does not condone any violence towards children and has clear laws in place to prevent it”.

As it stands, in England and Northern Ireland it’s technically legal for a caregiver to discipline a child physically if it’s a “reasonable” punishment.

While current child protection laws protect children from physical abuse,  campaigners want to see changes in the law to protect children from physical punishment, too.

NSPCC chief executive, Sir Peter Wanless, said: “It cannot be right that in this country it is illegal to hit an adult, but equal protection is not given to a child.”

When news broke, a lot of people couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

Some didn’t see any issue with it however, or believed parents should be left to decide what’s appropriate or not.

Critics have previously suggested a law change to ban physical punishment will criminalise parents, but really the main focus is protecting children’s rights.

A survey commissioned by the NSPCC previously found more than two-thirds of adults in England believe it’s wrong for parents or carers to physically punish their child, with 58% thinking it was already illegal.

More than 60 nations worldwide have legislated against the physical punishment of children. 

Last year, the Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza said she would be “supportive” if the government decided to follow in Scotland and Wales’ footsteps in making corporal punishment illegal. 

At the time, then education secretary Nadhim Zahawi rejected the call, saying mothers and fathers are “entitled” to be able to discipline their youngsters.

“My very strong view is that actually we have got to trust parents on this, and parents being able to discipline their children is something that they should be entitled to do,” the minister told Times Radio.

“We have got to just make sure we don’t end up in a world where the state is nannying people about how they bring up their children.”

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