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Date:
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6/27/2012 11:30:45 AM
Dee Black--HSLDA
Delaware--Anti-Spanking Bill Passes House Committee

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Delaware -- Anti-Spanking Bill Passes House Committee

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Bad news! Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved Senate
Bill 234 by a unanimous vote of 7-0. It now goes to the full House of
Representatives, which will vote on it either today, tomorrow, or
Saturday. Your calls and emails are needed to convince members of the
House that Delaware citizens do not want to make it a crime for
parents to spank their own children.

Senate Bill 234, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Patricia M.
Blevins (District 7), creates a 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 defining "physical injury" to include the
infliction of pain on a child, spanking would become a crime in
Delaware punishable by imprisonment for up to two years.

We do not believe the intent of this bill was to outlaw corporal
discipline. The purpose appears to be to strengthen child abuse and
neglect laws. Unfortunately, the effect of this bill is to prohibit a
well-meaning parent from doing anything to a child that would cause
pain. Obviously this would include spanking. The analyses of this bill
we have seen from a member of the House and a representative of the
Delaware Attorney General's Office fail to consider a plain reading of
the current law that it is not permissible to cause physical injury to
a child and that Senate Bill 234 would define "physical injury" as
pain. A simple solution to this dilemma would be to simply remove the
definition of physical injury from the bill.

This terrible bill passed the Senate unanimously on June 19, 2012, by
a vote of 21-0. If this bill is enacted, Delaware would become the
first state in the nation to outlaw corporal discipline of children by
their parents.

Members of the House of Representatives need to hear from Delaware
parents who wish to preserve the right to direct the upbringing of
their children, including the right to administer reasonable corporal
discipline.

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or email your state representative with this
message or something similar in your own words:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 234, which would make it a crime for
a parent to administer reasonable corporal discipline to a child,
punishable by up to two years in prison. By creating a definition of
the term 'physical injury' to include any form of pain, even spanking
a child for misconduct would subject a parent to prosecution for child
abuse and a prison term."

You may find the contact information for your representatives at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15038 .

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact their state representative.

To view the text of this bill, please go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15039 .

Please call or email as soon as you read this email!

Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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