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Date:
From:
Subject:

5/6/2008 2:57:34 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California--Action Still Needed to Defeat Anti-spanking Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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JOINT LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT - Updated May 5, 2008
From: Roy Hanson's Child and Family Protection Association and HSLDA

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Bill: AB 2943 (as amended 4/3/08) - Prohibition of Spanking
Author: State Assembly Member Sally Lieber

Position: Strongly OPPOSE - amendments cannot help

Status: AB 2943 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on
April 30th, and is now being held in that committee's suspense file to
assess its financial impact.

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Information Included In This E-mail:

A. Summary of Concerns
B. Action Items
C. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators

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A. Summary of Concerns:

AB 2943 would have the practical effect of making a non-injurious
spanking with an object such as a ruler, folded newspaper, small
paddle, etc. illegal. After being arrested, charged, and tried in a
criminal court, parents could receive up to one year in jail or up to
6 years in prison and lose custody of their children. When Lieber
claims that her bill only deals with child abuse, remember that she
has stated repeatedly that all spanking, by definition, is child
abuse. Her strategy in AB 2943 is to treat all spanking with an
object as criminal child abuse. She has deliberately failed to make
any distinction between spanking as a method of discipline and true
child abuse.

AB 2943 would amend Penal Code 273a, which currently makes it a crime
to cause unjustifiable pain, harm, or injury to any minor child. The
instructions to a jury which are mandated by the current version of AB
2943 would state that a jury may consider that physical pain or mental
suffering inflicted upon a child is unjustifiable if it is
caused by any of the seven kinds of actions, which are also listed in
AB 2943. The first of the seven actions listed is: "the use of an
implement, including, but not limited to, a stick, a rod, a switch, an
electrical cord, an extension cord, a belt, a broom, or a shoe." This
first action includes the act of spanking with an object other than
using one's hand. Because these items would be listed in the Penal
Code, the police and District Attorney would likely consider all
spanking with an implement to be grounds to bring charges against the
parents. Then a criminal court trial would determine if the parents
are guilty of criminal child abuse. Parents would have the difficult
task of proving that the spanking was justifiable to the satisfaction
of the court in a criminal trial in order to avoid being sent to jail
for up to one year, prison for up to 6 years, or receiving other
penalties. The case also could be referred to Child Protective
Services (CPS) and Juvenile Court, which could result in the possible
temporary or permanent loss of custody of their children.

* Please see our "AB 2943 Alert Supplement" for a more detailed
explanation of AB 2943. This Alert and our Supplement can be
downloaded from http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org .

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B. Action Items - CALL IMMEDIATELY:

1) CALL a member of the Assembly Appropriations Committee according
to the first letter of your Last Name as indicated in the alphabetized
list below.

Ask them to -
"Please vote No on AB 2943 (by Lieber). AB 2943 would unnecessarily
overburden the courts and child protective services by causing
innocent parents who use a small paddle or similar object, when
lovingly spanking their child, to be investigated, arrested and
prosecuted. AB 2943 is unnecessary. Children are already protected
from all forms of true child abuse in current law."

2) Consider following up your calls with a brief fax or letter.
(Please refer below to the "Opposition Points to Share with
Legislators" for additional ideas in writing your fax or letter.)

Notes:
* Call as a concerned citizen. This bill affects all families.
* Do not disclose the source of this Alert. All bills are available
on the internet.
* Because e-mails are usually ignored, letters and calls are
significantly more effective.
* Reprint or forward this to your friends, church, school, and group.
* Pray for a proper outcome.

For the Action Item above, please call the selected member of the
Assembly Appropriations Committee according to the first letter of
your last name as indicated in the following list:

A
Assembly Member Mimi Walters (Vice Chair)
Phone: 916-319-2073
Fax: 916 -319-2173

B
Assembly Member Mark Leno (Chair)
Phone: 916-319-2013
Fax: 916-319-2113

C
Assembly Member Anna Caballero
Phone: 916-319-2028
Fax: 916-319-2128

D-E
Assembly Member Mike Davis
Phone: 916-319-2048
Fax: 916-319-2148

F-G
Assembly Member Mark DeSaulnier
Phone: 916-319-2011
Fax: 916-319-2111

H-J
Assembly Member Warren Furutani
Phone: 916-319-2055
Fax: 916-319-2155

K-L
Assembly Member Jared Huffman
Phone: 916-319-2006
Fax: 916-319-2106

M
Assembly Member Betty Karnette
Phone: 916-319-2054
Fax: 916-319-2154

N-P
Assembly Member Paul Krekorian
Phone: 916-319-2043
Fax: 916-319-2143

Q-R
Assembly Member Ted Lieu
Phone: 916-319-2053
Fax: 916-319-2153

S
Assembly Member Fiona Ma
Phone: 916-319-2012
Fax: 916-319-2112

T-V
Assembly Member Pedro Nava
Phone: 916-319-2035
Fax: 916-319-2135

W-Z
Assembly Member Jose Solorio
Phone: 916-319-2069
Fax: 916-319-2169

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C. Opposition Points to Share with Legislators:

1. AB 2943 would hurt the very children that this bill is supposed to
help, especially if their parents have lower incomes or they have only
one parent. When you hurt the child's primary caregiver, you hurt the
child. There will be a great amount of stress, grief, and hardship
resulting from an arrest, trial, expenses for an attorney, time lost
at work, threat of job loss, difficulty of getting a new job because
of having a criminal record, separating the child from parents, fines,
jail time or prison time (up to 6 years), class time. The trauma and
stigma of a child's parent(s) going through a criminal trial will only
add to their troubles. This whole experience could be an unbearable
stress.

2. There is no objective research that links bad outcomes for
children who have been spanked by their parents.(1) The best credible
research has shown that nonabusive spanking when used to back up other
disciplinary methods has been effective in curbing antisocial behavior
in children as they grow up.(2) Diana Baumrind, Ph.D., of the
University of California found that children who are occasionally
spanked score higher on measures of adjustment than children who have
never been spanked.(3) According to Robert E. Larzelere, Ph.D., of
Oklahoma State University, 10 years after Sweden's ban on spanking was
instituted, child abuse had increased instead of decreasing.(4)

3. AB 2943 defies all common sense and history. There is no state
that forbids the use of an object for spanking by parents. This form
of discipline, when reasonably administered, has been accepted by
every generation of Californians and Americans. Criminalizing a
significant portion of the populace by imposing the author's personal
beliefs about discipline and spanking on the parents of California is
a terrible and grave injustice. According to a national ABC News
Opinion Poll, over one half of the persons interviewed believe that a
reasonable spanking to the buttocks is appropriate as a method of
child discipline and close to one half of parents with minor children
at home spank their children.(5) A poll taken for CBS News on Jan.
18, 2007, found that 57% of California Bay Area adults would oppose
legislation banning spanking.

4. If AB 2943 becomes law, there will be a huge increase in the
number of reports of child abuse and endangerment to law enforcement,
child protective services, and then an increase in cases to be handled
by D.A. offices, Criminal Courts, and Juvenile Courts. The flood of
new cases resulting from AB 2943 will be overwhelming for these
agencies of the state, most of which are already overloaded with a
backlog of serious crime and child abuse cases.


* Please see our "AB 2943 Alert Supplement" for a more detailed
explanation and additional opposition points. This Alert and our
Supplement can be downloaded from
http://www.childandfamilyprotection.org .


Footnotes:
1. Larzelere, Robert E. and Kuhn, Brett R.; Comparing Child Outcomes
of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A
Meta-Analysis; Clinical Child and Family Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, March
2005; p. 2.

2. Larzelere, Robert E. and Kuhn, Brett R.; Comparing Child Outcomes
of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A
Meta-Analysis; Clinical Child and Family Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, March
2005; p. 26.

3. Baumrind, Diana; Respondent's Affidavit Brief; Canadian Foundation
For Children, Youth and the Law vs. The Attorney General In Right of
Canada; Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court; May 3, 1999, para.
85, 87.

4. Larzelere, Robert E.; Sweden's smacking ban: more harm than good;
Family First and The Christian Institute; England; 2004; p. 4.

5. ABCNEWS.com: Poll: Most Approve of Spanking Kids; March 26, 2007.


***** ***** ***** *****

Roy Hanson's HELP Tree
Child and Family Protection Association
P.O. Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648-0730
Fax: (916) 415-9470
contact@childandfamilyprotection.org
www.childandfamilyprotection.org

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The purpose of this communication is to present information and
express our position on the issue(s) addressed. We encourage you to
research this for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Regardless of your position, we strongly urge you to exercise your
constitutional right to express your position to your elected
representatives. We have included an example of how we have expressed
our position.
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DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message to
HELP Tree Members only. We are not responsible for the accuracy of
copies printed, forwarded, or sent by any party other than directly
from Child and Family Protection Association.
***** ***** ***** *****

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