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Stop Corporal Punishment

This petition had 21 supporters

Proposal for a Bill to protect against corporal punishment in all settings of a child's life

Preface: At present, more than fifty countries throughout the world prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings. We seek to make the United States the next country to fully recognize the rights of a child.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings of their lives. As the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children states, "Corporal punishment of children is a violation of their rights to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity. It's widespread legality breaches their right to equal protection under the law."

As a society, we have legislated against corporal punishment in most schools in a majority of states. However, all fifty states allow parents to "reasonably" spank their children under the guise of "discipline." While studies are mixed on the value of spanking and the lasting effects of corporal punishment and while many parents engage in such activity with the best intentions, we hold it to be self-evident that a child is inherently defenseless and therefore unable to protect themselves from being physically harmed by a parent, guardian, or caregiver.

We hold that since a child is not fully developed in their physicality, mental faculties, psychological processing abilities, and emotional coping mechanisms, they are unable to deal with the trauma of being hit by someone who is supposed to protect them.

We claim that no argument can be made in favor of intentionally inflicting pain on a child, nor can any valid reason be given to justify hitting a child in any way.

Children are entitled to equal protection, not sanctioned violence. Thus, we call upon the members of our government to act.

To achieve this goal, this petition will be delivered to every member of the United States Senate, every member of the United States House of Representatives, and to The President of The United States. It is our hope that with enough support and awareness the provisions of this proposal will be enacted into law.

Proposal: The fourteenth amendment establishes citizenship and equal protection to all persons born or naturalized in America. The thirteenth amendment abolishes involuntary servitude to all citizens. The eighth amendment prohibits cruel punishment to all citizens. The fourth amendment guarantees the right of citizens to be secure in their persons and the ninth amendment upholds all implied, natural, and fundamental rights of citizens not otherwise enumerated in the Constitution of the United States of America.

We believe these rights apply to all citizens at the moment of birth and remain inviolable. As such, we believe children are entitled to the protections these constitutional rights grant and imply. Explicitly, we believe these protections include the following:

(1) No child shall be subject to any infringement of their fourth amendment right to be secure in their person.

(2) No child shall be subject to any infringement of their eighth amendment right to be safe from cruel punishment.

(3) No child shall be subject to any infringement of their thirteenth amendment right to be free from subjugation and involuntary servitude.

(4) No child shall be subject to any infringement of their fourteenth amendment right to equal protection.

(5) No child shall be subject to any infringement of their ninth amendment right to all implied, natural, or fundamental rights not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

(6) Infringements include, but are not limited to, any instance of physical, emotional, or psychological harm such as bullying, intimidation, coercion, forced actions, hitting, spanking, beating, cutting, slapping, pulling, pinching, burning, grabbing with force, starvation, deprivation, neglect, isolation, torture, servitude, or any similar intended or unintended act that inflicts pain, punishment, stress, or harm in any form or manner where the child feels threatened, scared, helpless, vulnerable, degraded, demeaned, and/or any situation in which a child is unable to defend their person form such actions taken against them.

(7) Infringements may also include any teaching, indoctrination, instruction, or direction that produces an intended or unintended harm against a child’s physical, mental, or psychological well-being, takes advantage of a child’s lack of development, or exploits, humiliates, or demeans a child in any way.

(8) Parents, guardians, caregivers, and teachers retain the rights and responsibilities of making decisions on the behalf of children to safeguard and educate children in any realm so long as such decisions made on the child’s behalf do not infringe upon the child’s rights enumerated above or cause harm to the child in any way.

(9) Any violation of the rights enumerated in this bill – explicitly stated or otherwise implied – and any failure to report such violations will result in criminal penalties.

Epilogue: Those who advocate for the right to life believe that a child's rights supersedes the rights of the mother. So why should those rights end after being born? It is illogical to grant rights in the womb and then strip those rights the moment a first breath is taken.

Those on the Pro-Choice side believe that a woman's body should not be legislated or violated by the government. So why is it okay to legislate violence against a child?

Those who have ever been enslaved, subjugated, dehumanized, or marginalized due to skin color, religion, sexuality, gender, race, or ethnicity should recognize that allowing children to be hit by anyone is immoral and unjustifiable because it makes them property of those who are allowed to hit them.

We hold that it is the responsibility of society to protect children, not harm them. It is time to join the world and end corporal punishment. If we do not defend our children, who will?


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