DRAFT RESOLUTION--February 2, 1999

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, physical punishment teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to resolve differences, and can interfere with open and honest communication between children and their caretakers, and

WHEREAS, physical punishment of children can lead to psychological problems, and has been shown to cause children to engage in anti-social behavior instead of actually preventing said behavior, and

WHEREAS, physical punishment of children typically occurs when the adult caretaker is angry and often escalates to a dangerous level ending in serious injury or death, and

WHEREAS, the Oakland police department reports between sixty to one hundred calls regarding child abuse each month,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of Oakland declares that corporal punishment of children is not a recommended practice and the City encourages all of its residents to refrain from hitting their children.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City will make available to the public any literature that will help parents and guardians to learn alternative discipline techniques to use in place of corporal punishment, and the City encourages agencies, educators, health care providers, and others who have contact with children to join in this effort.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City directs the appropriate staff to research funding sources for parenting classes that Oakland could sponsor for its residents to enable them to become more skilled at child rearing.

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