[Mercury News] The state Legislature is about to weigh in on a question that stirs impassioned debate among moms and dads: Should parents spank their children?
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, wants to outlaw spanking children up to 3 years old. If she succeeds, California would become the first state in the nation to explicitly ban parents from smacking their kids.
Making a swat on the behind a misdemeanor might seem a bit much for some -- and the chances of the idea becoming law appear slim, at best -- but Lieber begs to differ.
â€œI think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child 3 years old or younger,'' Lieber said. "Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?''
The bill, which is still being drafted, will be written broadly, she added, prohibiting ``any striking of a child, any corporal punishment, smacking, hitting, punching, any of that.'' Lieber said it would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, although a legal expert advising her on the proposal said first-time offenders would probably only have to attend parenting classes.