How sad - for children and adults alike - that Brookline's Town Meeting tabled a proposal that would have outlawed spanking.* This could have become a national model.
Where is the choice of the child not to be hit? Where is the youngster's freedom from parental violence? Is violence verboten outside the home, but allowed inside, away from the eyes of others?
A rose by any other name is still a rose, and spanking by its own name is still hitting a child. That, by any other name, is child abuse. If parents feel a child has to be spanked because the child is "out of control," perhaps it is the parents who have lost control. A good parent will leave the room during a frustrating situation with a child, and think of a better way to deal with the problem.
As lifelong Brookline residents and supporters of Ron Goldman's measure to outlaw spanking here, we feel shame that so many fellow residents still think corporal punishment has a place in the home. Brookline's enlightened days as a leader in progressive thought seem to be far behind us now. In recent years we seem to have a Town Meeting filled not just with conservative thinkers, but people who are not thoughtful at all.
For shame Brookline, for shame, for allowing such an archaic child-rearing method to continue in your houses.
Deborah Malick and Dr. Michael J. Malick
*Editor's note: Article 16 would not have outlawed spanking. Its purpose was to urge citizens to refrain from the practice. Had it passed, it would have been strictly advisory.
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