Thursday, October 11, 2007

Smacking a child may cost you R300

A number of child-related news stories jolted me quite a bit recently.

Firstly, a number of media reports this morning say parents will have to cough up at least R300 for giving children a clip on the ear if they are prosecuted under the proposed Children's Act.

The articles cite a News24 report as a source. "The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday told the parliamentary social welfare services portfolio committee that unless clause 139 of the Children's Act was changed, "any minor smack on the buttocks or rap over the knuckles" would be illegal and punishable by law."

The reason the issue shook me up is that I hadn’t realised I have mixed feelings about corporal punishment.

Make no mistake – I am completely, totally, against child abuse and believe that strong measures should be taken to prevent it and to punish the abuser.

But I see a smack as something that some parents may choose to use when other options fail.

I was smacked when I was a child. I don’t think it was an effective way to guide me to make better decisions and choices. It was simply punishment for wrong-doing and a way to force me never repeat the mistake out of fear. BUT, even as an adult, I don’t see the smacks from my parents as abuse (and no, I’m not in denial either!)

Anyway, I was checking out News24 when I came across the headline:"Cops smash teen child porn ring."

The report said six teenage boys would appear in court after they were arrested for the alleged production and distribution of child pornography using cellphones.

The boys, aged from 16 to 18-years-old, were charged with rape, soliciting and the production and distribution of child pornography, the article said.

I’m going to about it this later today on Mobile Life at

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