INDEPENDENT NEWS

Strangers Can but Parents Can't

Published: Tue 13 Mar 2007 11:17 AM
Press Release For Immediate Distribution
Strangers Can but Parents Can't
Bradford's misguided Bill to repeal Section 59 is incredibly short sighted in a number of ways. One is that she failed to notice Section 60 of the Crimes Act, right next door to Section 59. Section 60 justifies the use of "reasonable force" toward children, elderly and anyone else at the captain's or pilot's command by even passengers and crew on a ship or aircraft "for the purpose of maintaining good order and discipline".
Will that force be considered justified if used by parents in the home, in the car or in the shopping trolley? Isn't "maintaining good order and discipline" also "incidental to good care and parenting" (which Bradford says is to be legal), or will it be defined as correction (which Bradford will insist makes it a crime)?
It is not at all clear what Bradford means by "correction". Is it not reasonable that parents should have as much authority in their homes and vehicles and shopping trolleys as captains and pilots have on their craft? Or will this Bill land us in the situation where strangers in the form of passengers and crew can use reasonable force on my children to maintain good order and discipline on the ferry ship in the calms of Wellington harbour, but my wife and I are not allowed to use it on our own children in our own van to maintain good order and discipline while driving through the chaos of Wellington highways.
This ridiculous Bill is focused on criminalizing the benign corrective force used by nearly every good and caring parent in the country.....while doing nothing whatsoever to weed out the dysfunctional child abusing households. Dump the Bill.
Ends

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