The New York Times, March 12, 2000

Israeli High Court on Spanking , Letter to the Editor, Susan H. Bitinsky

To the Editor:
A March 5 Week in Review article about efforts to reform the legal status of corporal punishment of children in Britain breaks the general silence of the news media in reporting about this subject.

In January, the Israeli Supreme Court handed down a decision banning all corporal punishment of children, including even "light" spanking administered by parents. With this ruling, Israel has joined nine other countries that have outlawed all corporal punishment of children: Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Finland, Latvia, Croatia and Italy. The United States' best-kept secret is that Minnesota has enacted laws banning this kind of punishment.

It should also be noted that corporal punishment of children is considered a violation of international human rights law.

East Lansing, Mich., March 6, 2000

The writer is a professor at Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law.

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