WHEREAS, physical punishment teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to resolve differences, that it undermines self-esteem, interferes with children's ability to learn and contravenes the fundamental right of all persons to be free from the deliberate infliction of bodily pain or injury, and

WHEREAS, serious physical injury and death among children are often the end result of physical punishment carried to extreme, and

WHEREAS, physical punishment of children interferes with open and honest communication between children and their caretakers, drives out trust and replaces it with fear, resentment and hostility, and

WHEREAS, children who have been subjected to physical punishment are more likely to engage in assaultive acts against others and/or crimes against property, and

WHEREAS, physical punishment of children often leads to psychological problems, eating disorders, depression, chemical dependency, and other health risks, and

WHEREAS, there exists a whole range of proven, positive and effective methods for managing children that are based on children's natural desire for approval and acceptance, and

WHEREAS, children learn good behavior by imitating the good behavior of the significant adults in their lives, and to show respect for others because they have been shown respect, and

WHEREAS, the best interests of children and the best interests of society will be served by the elimination of the practice of physical punishment in child rearing, and the promotion of more humane and effective practices in its place,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The City Council of Oakland declares Oakland to be a NO SPANKING ZONE from this time forward.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The City Council of Oakland invites and urges all parents, legal guardians, educators, health care providers, and others who have contact with, or responsibility for, children to join in this effort for the sake of all children and the future of our great city.

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