Senate Bill 234: Outlaws Corporal Discipline


Last Updated: September 12, 2012
Senate Bill 234: Outlaws Corporal Discipline
Senators Patricia M. Blevins, George H. Bunting, Dorinda A. "Dori" Connor, Bethany A. Hall-Long, Margaret Rose Henry, Robert I. Marshall, David P. Sokola, Liane M. Sorenson, and Representatives Rebecca Walker, Debra J. Heffernan, Earl G. Jaques, S. Quinton Johnson, John A. Kowalko, Gregory F. Lavelle, Bryon H. Short, Melanie George Smith, and Lincoln D. Willis

This bill expands the definition of the term “physical injury” in the child abuse and neglect laws to include “pain.” Currently the law permits a parent to use force to punish a child for misconduct, but it prohibits any act that is likely to cause or does cause physical injury. By redefining “physical injury” to include the infliction of pain on a child, spanking would become a crime in Delaware punishable by imprisonment.

Under the proposed law, a parent causing “physical injury” (e.g., pain) to a child under age 18 would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and subject to one year in prison. A parent causing pain to a child who is 3 years of age or younger would be guilty of a class G felony and subject to two years in prison.

HSLDA's Position:
Action Requested:
None at this time

06/05/2012     (Senate)     Assigned to Judiciary Committee
06/13/2012     (Senate)     Reported out of committee with 5 on its merits
06/14/2012     (Senate)     Amendment No. 1 introduced
06/19/2012     (Senate)     Amendment No. 1 stricken
06/19/2012     (Senate)     Amendment No. 2 introduced
06/19/2012     (Senate)     Amendment No. 2 passed 20-0
06/19/2012     (Senate)     Bill passed 21-0
06/20/2012     (House)     Assigned to Judiciary Committee
06/26/2012     (House)     Reported out of Judiciary Committee with 7 on its merits
06/28/2012     (House)     Passed the House of Representatives 34-7
09/12/2012     Signed by Governor

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Bill History