Jordan Riak's letter to the Boston Globe, June 5, 2004
Re: Brookline rejects measure on spanking


The outcome of the debate at the Brookline Town Meeting about whether or not parents should spank their children had little to do with achieving the general good, and more to do with safeguarding personal bad habits. The argument heard at the meeting that government has no business meddling in parents' child-rearing practices reminds me of similar arguments of earlier times. Those of us who are old enough will recall when "family spats" were not a matter for the police or the courts, and when government did not interfere with cherished social customs, e.g., lynching, racial segregation, etc. Can anyone name one social reform that didn't have to confront and overcome that kind of collective denial and moral cowardice? I can't.

Jordan Riak, Exec. Dir., Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE), P.O. Box 1033, Alamo, CA 94507-7033. Web site: "Project NoSpank" at Telephone: (925) 831-1661

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