September 30, 2023

390,000 + Signatures

RE-Presentation of Petition against NZ’s ‘anti-smacking’ law


Re-Presentation of Petition (390,000+ signatures) to New Zealand Parliament, 23rd June, 2008, against Bradford’s anti-correction law, which has criminalized all New Zealand parents through making it illegal to use force to correct kids.

390,000 + Signatures

HSLDA on California-Home schooling and smacking


The Washington Times
April 28, 2008

Washington Times Op-ed—California May Ban Spanking

by J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

It’s often said that California is a trendsetter. Ideas that begin in California have a habit of making their way across the country.

Currently, many families have been alarmed at the recent California Court of Appeal ruling that prohibits homeschooling unless the parent is a certified teacher.

In just 10 days, more than 250,000 people signed the Home School Legal Defense Association petition opposing this decision. Not all these families were homeschoolers. James Dobson of Focus on the Family says the ruling was an “all-out assault on the family.”

The good news is that the Court of Appeal has granted a request for a rehearing of its decision on homeschooling, which by law, automatically vacates the decision, meaning it’s no longer binding.

The court has solicited a number of public school establishment organizations to submit amicus briefs, including the California Superintendent of Public Instruction, the California Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and three California teachers unions.

Although there is no guarantee the outcome will be different after the rehearing, The homeschool community welcomes the opportunity to file an amicus brief advocating that the court retain the current method of homeschooling in California through the private school exemption.

Just when things seemed to be settling down in California, on April 3, Assembly Bill 2943 was introduced by assembly member Sally Lieber. This bill would have the practical effect of making a noninjurious spanking with an object such as a ruler, folded newspaper or small paddle illegal in California. The bill is identical to Assembly Bill 755, which failed to pass the assembly last year.

This bill amends Penal Code section 273(a), which makes it a crime to cause unjustifiable pain, harm or injury to any minor child. If the bill passes, spanking with an object such as a stick, rod or switch would be lumped in with throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child.

Striking a child with a fist. Striking a child under 3 years of age on the face or head. Vigorously shaking of a child under 3 years of age. Interfering with a child’s breathing. Brandishing a deadly weapon upon a child. These are all factors that a jury could use to conclude that a defendant in a criminal case has inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.

What the bill would do is to equate discipline administered via an implement with the above conduct, which obviously is abusive behavior toward a child.

This likely will have several negative unjustifiable consequences in California. Prosecutors could end up filing criminal charges against parents for simply spanking their children with an object even though reasonable, age-appropriate corporal discipline is a protected right of parents in every state.

Secondly, by the mere fact that jurors in criminal cases would be instructed that they could consider spanking with an implement to be criminal conduct would imply that the legislature believes that this type of conduct is abusive conduct. Finally, if this law passes, it will have a chilling effect on parents who reasonably exercise discipline through the use of spanking with an implement.

Although this is not a homeschool issue, it is a parental rights issue. One of the foundations for the right to homeschool is based upon the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

The erosion of parental rights is a dangerous trend. If California continues to push to have homeschooling parents be certified teachers and limit heretofore well-established disciplinary tools of parents, it will be asserting the view that the state knows what’s best for children, thereby limiting the authority of parents to raise their children in a responsible way.

Defending parental rights is apparently going to be an uphill battle in California. Now is the time to take a look at amending the U.S. Constitution to protect parental rights.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at (540)338-5600; or send email to

Comments on Locked up for smacking my son … How a slap brought police and social services in to tear a family apart



7 April 2008 Family Integrity #365 — One family’s ordeal…

Dear Friends,

This is a terrible story.

The outrageous antics of the Police and the social welfare agents are bad enough. But they are not the only villains in this story.

Have a read:
The parenting practices of this apparently very typical family are also to blame. The practices, I believe, are quite common and typical. But let’s look a wee bit closer.

The children attended school. Simply being separated for at least 6 hours a day, 5 days a week will soon make the children strangers to their parents. In addition, we all know that children pick up all kinds of lousy messages and attitudes at school. Many teachers convey the anti-parent message that your parents are not allowed to force you to do anything, to discipline you or correct you. This is totally subversive of parental authority. So the first question: why do parents allow their children to attend these institutions where they are subject to such subversive propaganda? Probably the simplest answer is that the parents send their children to school in good faith and have no idea whatsoever as to what is going on. The typical answer to, “What did you do and learn at school today, Johnny?” is “Nothing.” Application: get your children out of such institutions. Ideally teach them at home or find a private school you can thoroughly trust.

The children were allowed computers in their rooms as well as other games and entertainment technology. That means a fair bit of what they did was unsupervised. Children need guidance in these areas. If the computers were connected to Internet, this was indeed a very foolish thing to do, leaving the children to surf the Internet unsupervised. Application: never let children have unsupervised time on internet and never let them have their own computer or TV in their rooms. This is just the same as leaving stacks of pornography magazines, books and films in their rooms. How can one be surprised if they then come out with vile speech and disobedient and disrespectful attitudes?

The children were allowed to develop friendships, spend lots of time and even stay over night at the homes of people the parents did not approve of. Again, this is incredibly foolish. Why do parents do this? Again, they do so in good faith, do not want to appear snooty or arrogant, want to apprear friendly and non-discriminatory toward neighbours, for after all, they are neighbours. (Actually we’re not sure if they were neighbours or not.) But the strongest influence that caused the parents to have such a hands-off approach to the shepherding of their children was that such an approach is what society today demands. Application: tell society and its demands to jump in a lake: your children are your responsibility and you must raise them according to what you believe is right. If you do not approve of certain people, do not let your children associate with them. This is impossible if they attend school, of course, so again home education is nearly essential. We must say more: if you disapprove of this or that, you must be clear about this to your children and explain why. More than that, you must approve, and even demand, behaviour and standards that you want to see in your family. Schooling institutions no longer propagate the higher standards of our Traditional Western Christian Civilization, but today they socialise everyone to a politicised list of so-called commonly held set of values. That is the formal curriculum. The hidden curriculum (what goes on behind the bike sheds and at recess and behind teacher’s back) socialises all to the lowest common denominator…and this is getting lower all the time.

The children were allowed to get away with saying “F…off, you cow,” to their mother who would give a few warnings about such language. Such language should have been rooted out years ago. Again, it is nearly impossible to do this if the children are at school, but at the very least they could have learned to never use that language at home, but only at school, as I did as a kid. But to tolerate them saying such things to their own mother is unbelievable. But then, the father did say the same thing to a social worker. Sure he was under duress, but it was a terrible example. The application is: don’t use language or act in ways you don’t want to see replicated in your own children. They need to know exactly where the boundaries are and that you will be swift and sure about enforcing the boundaries. Swift and sure about enforcement. Here we are up against it as the re-write of Section 59 categorically forbids parents from correcting or disciplining their children. It would seem the law we have is designed to prevent parents from doing their duty toward their children and to give children license to be as disrespectful and disobedience as they like.

So, the police and social welfare agents in this story were abominable, but they were following the trends and policies of their superiors. This is bad, and NZer will be suffering such interventions more and more. But none of this would have happened if the parents had closer relations with their children, if the family had been operating as a unit instead of as a collection of individuals living, most of the time, under the same roof. The parents and children were clearly NOT on the same page. Application: train your chldren to recognise that the agents of the state are sadly no longer to be trusted, but that they will divide, conquer and destoy your family, your reputations, your future employment prospects and even your ability to travel. So children must stick close to parents and stick up for them and never, never divulge to others outside your four walls what goes on inside your four walls. Your family’s private family life is no business of anyone else. If authorities come around and start getting nosey, you must all be agreed that “Silence is golden.” Simply say nothing — NOTHING — to any of these agents.

As this story dramatically illustrates, the state agents (schooling institutions, police, social workers) used the tactics of divide and conquer plus their privileged position of using force, to damage this family. Don’t let it happen to you.


Craig Smith
National Director
Family Integrity
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North
New Zealand
Ph: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389

The Corporal Correction of Children – Part 2

The Corporal Correction of Children – Part 2

Posted in In line with Scripture

“A servant will not be corrected by mere words; for though he understands, he will not respond.”

Proverbs 29:19

Spank Not with Words

Do we really need to spank at all? What’s wrong with a good tongue lashing? Surely we can appeal to the child’s sense of duty, reason, sense of fair play?

Well, no, we cannot. We are talking about children here, little ones up to around 8 or 10. (If spanking is done consistently to drive out the foolishness as explained in Proverbs 22:15, and done along with the training and teaching and example of parents, there should be little if any need to spank beyond this age.) Little ones of this age, and honestly even into teenage years, do not think straight. They simply haven’t got the experience of years to have a sufficiently developed sense of reason and fair play and duty. Besides, we are talking about a child who has just committed some breach of rules, exhibiting a life currently directed by foolishness, not reason. Mere words, you see, do not dislodge the foolishness and sin from the heart, whereas a spanking will (see Proverbs 22:15 & 20:30). While they are in the grip of this outburst of foolishness, they are unable to grasp your words of wisdom anyway. So don’t waste the wise words or your breath at this point. (They will be readily received immediately after the spanking.)

In addition, tongue lashings tend to be character assassinations, going deep, doing much damage. “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18 RSV). And because tongue lashings do no obvious damage, we can more easily give full vent to our (sinful) anger, ranting and raving, getting it off our chests, giving them a piece of our minds. This is a bad example, on top of the damage angry words are doing to the child’s spirit and emotions. The Scriptures are clear: “The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20).

Some parents tend to do nothing. Eli the priest failed to restrain his sons, Hophni and Phinehas. They were a disgrace to all Israel, and all Israel knew what swine they were, so much so that it is actually commented on in Scripture that “they would not listen to the voice of their father” (I Samuel 2:25) and that Eli “did not restrain them” (I Samuel 3:13). They were so bad that God determined to wipe them (and their father Eli) off the face of the earth. Their unrestrained lives proved the veracity of Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (and his father, too, as well as the whole family and possibly further afield as did these sons of Eli!) Maybe Eli was a non-violent type, and like his sons, had little regard for the Lord’s ways of doing things, preferring his own. Well, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25) This is what it means to live by faith: to order our lives according to God’s word, even though we can’t understand it, don’t like it, and hope our friends don’t read certain passages until after they get saved.

Grounding, giving them “time-out”, making them stand in the corner, forfeiting pocket money, etc. do not deal with the problem of sin in the heart. This sin, this foolishness which just manifested itself in the unacceptable behaviour of the child, must be driven out, separated from the child. Restrictions such as grounding, etc., are hard to police, cause the offence to be remembered for far too long, and can cause resentment to build up alongside of the original foolishness which was not driven out by the rod (spanking) in the first place.

We fostered an 8-year-old boy for a year. Foster parents are not allowed to administer Biblical correction (spankings). The boy’s psychologist suggested we give him a lollie at the end of each day he stayed within the rules. This did not work. If he blew it early in the day, he would be as disobedient and abusive as he liked thereafter, knowing the worst that could happen would be the withholding of a lollie. His lawyer suggested we write down infractions in a wee notebook, like the soccer referees do. This had no effect whatsoever.

Then one day we were assigned guardianship over the lad. I told him that he would now be subject to the same rules as our own children: one spank with the rod across the backside when it was established that he had violated one of the family’s rules. Soon afterwards both he and our youngest son transgressed together at the same time. After questioning, establishing the facts, and explaining the rules again, our son took his spank. The foster boy was next, and like our own, he cried before and after the spank….and was very receptive to further instruction and reassuring cuddles afterwards. His first words to me after the spank and again first thing the next morning were: “Dad, you’re the best!” He also wrote a card of thanks for the spank and put it on my plate at breakfast. He was a totally different boy from that point onwards.

Our words need to follow the same pattern as God’s words: we should use them to teach, reprove, correct, train in righteousness, edify and impart grace (II Timothy. 3:16, Ephesians. 4:29), but not to whip children either as punishment or to enforce obedience.

From Keystone Magazine
July 2000 , Vol. VI No. 4
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig

The Anti-Spanking Lobby

The Anti-Spanking Lobby

Posted in Statist and Professional Trends

Our family had a lot of fun a few weeks ago when we appeared on the Holmes Show as the “Disciples of Discipline”! I had written an article on spanking, the parental skill of the judicial application of the rod of correction, which appeared in a recent edition of Above Rubies. Someone had sent a copy to Holmes.He had read in that article that we were Christians, spank our children, are home schoolers and foster parents as well. He may have thought he was on to some fringe people or extremists, which always make good stories. Well, if you ever find yourself in this position,and I hope many of you do, since many New Zealand parents are literally tearing apart at the seams because they do not know are totally unaware of the educational and parenting skills many of us Christian home schoolers take for granted. If you are ever in this position, you must plan ahead. Speak only in measured and calm tones. Decide before hand what you want to say and what you do not want to say. Anticipate the trickiest questions they might ask and practise how you should answer them.

They spent the first two hours with us filming and talking about home schooling. They then indicated that they were favourably impressed with us as a family. So we relaxed about the upcoming interview on spanking. And sure enough, they were easy on us and did not try to make us look bad. We believe the Lord also overruled when the final cut and editing took place as His Biblical standards seem to have come across accurately.

So where is the debate on whether to ban smacking in the horne up to at this point? I rang Labour MP for Hamilton East, Dianne Yates’ office, and they assured me she had no further plans to introduce legislation of that sort. Someone rang me to say that the Minister of Justice also had no plans to amend the Crimes Act to make spanking illegal. I rang the office of the Commissioner for Children in Wellington to see what they were up to. Although they have nothing in the pipeline at the moment, it was conveyed to me that when the political and social climate was right, they would be considering moves to ban parental corporal discipline. They have already published several pamphlets with titles like, “Hitting Children Is Unjust.” Now, most of us would hopefully agree that to haul off and hit a child with a back-hand across the mouth because you were annoyed is totally unacceptable. But to this crowd, hitting also means smacking and spanking no matter how lightIy or lovingly done. They also sent me a disturbing article by a Ms Penelope Leach, titled, “What’s Wrong with Hitting Children?” It is terribly biased. Check out this paragraph explaining that abused children seem to blame themselves for the abuse, and never the one who abused them. Watch the language carefully:

“A study of a very large sample of University students, reported in the international journal Child Abuse and Neglect shows that this tendency to self-blame for physical punishment continues into adult life and therefore into parenthood. Subjects retrospectively justified not only punitive but brutal parents by assigning crimes to the children they used to be. Far from blaming those parents, they often expressed gratitude to them for the way they themselves had grown up. And during interviews, they consistently played down the violence used towards them. For example, 80% reported being spanked as children, but only 40% reported that they had received ‘physical punishment’; for many young adults, then, smacked bottoms were too trivial to count. Some subjects had suffered lasting bruises from parental beatings, but only 10% of them considered those punishments to have been excessive or cruel. Even amongst the group of students who had received hospital treatment for fractures, or other serious injuries resulting from parental punishment, only 43 % classified themselves as having been ‘abused’ or ‘cruelly treated’. The study concludes that ‘the recipients of punitive physical discipline are the least likely to recognise its inappropriateness.”

I find this paragraph one of the best promotions IN FAVOUR OF smacking from the pen of unbelievers that I have ever read. As much as the authors clearly despise spanking, those University student-subjects of theirs clearly did not. So the authors had to fabricate imaginative interpretations of their findings to agree with what they wanted to find . These poor, confused University students were so perverted by their loyalty to their parents that they were unable to think for themselves. Even among those who definitely had been subjected to excessive force, the kind that broke bones, only 43 % said they had been ‘abused’ or ‘cruelly treated’. So tbe study reckoned that these adult aged University students were a) deluded, b) unable to recognise their ill treatment and c) so rnessed up as to actually express gratitude for the way their parents had treated them. In other words, if you disagree with the authors’ pre-commitment to the idea that spanking is never justified, by their reckoning you need professional help for you are clearly not a full packet of biscuits!

Write to the Office of the Commissioner for Children for their pamphlets and a copy of this article quoted above: PO Box 12537, Wellington, ph. (04) 471-1410, Fax (04) 471-1418. Moves to make criminals out of us parents who spank our children are likely to come from this office.

From Keystone Magazine
November 1995 , Vol. 1 No. 5
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389
email: craig