CA Moves Forward with Anti-Spanking Bill

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Despite opposition from parents and family groups, California has moved a step closer to passing an anti-spanking bill that would ban certain types of discipline.

The state bill was passed through the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Tuesday, one of many steps for the bill to become a law.

If enforced, it would prohibit spanking with the "use of an implement," including "a stick, a rod, a switch, an electrical cord, an extension cord, a belt, a broom or a shoe," Assemblywoman Sally Lieber told the committee.

Parents could face up to a year in jail if found in violation of the law

Lieber introduced the bill last year but it was shut down. She has since resubmitted after adding some revisions.

Critics say the bill would put loving parents behind bars.

"If this law passes, good parents could be handcuffed, charged, have their children taken away, be labeled a criminal and even be convicted," said Randy Thomasson with the Campaign for Children and Families.

He showed up at the committee's hearing with handcuffs in hands, along with a group of mothers who believe in spanking.

"(The bill) tramples the cherished right of parents to raise their own children and removes children from good parents who occasionally spank their children to correct misbehavior," he added.

Teenager Abigail Berke is against the bill. She says she was spanked as child with a wooden spoon when she needed disciplining.

"I think spanking is right. I was spanked as a child and I am very grateful that I was, because I have grown up the right way, respecting others and being mindful of what I do," she told FOX's KTXL.

Abigail's mother Sarah also spoke out against the bill, which is slated AB 2943.

"As someone dead-set against the evil of child abuse, I also have a strong faith that calls on me to correct misbehavior and rebellion when it occurs," she said. "Yet my faith and moral beliefs that teach me to 'train up a child in the way he should go' would make me a suspected child abuser under AB 2943."

Thomasson says the bill will also order parents to attend "nonviolent parental education" classes.

The anti-spanking bill heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee next, where Lieber's first proposal was denied.

If it clears on all levels, the bill could become a law by late summer.

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