Spanking: Which Side of the Fence Are You On?

A History of Spanking

  • 1867: New Jersey becomes the first state to ban corporal punishment in public schools.
  • 1946: Pediatrician Benjamin Spock, M.D., publishes Baby and Child Care, in which he counsels parents against the punitive child-raising practices of earlier generations and encourages a more psychological approach to discipline.
  • 1971: Massachusetts becomes the second state to ban corporal punishment in schools.
  • 1979: Sweden bans spanking, becoming the first country to do so.
  • 1998: The American Academy of Pediatrics issues a statement discouraging all spanking.
  • 1999: The Oakland, California, City Council defeats a bill that would make the city a "no spank zone."
  • 2002: A Canadian court bans straps in schools, leaving the U.S. as the only industrialized Western nation without a national ban on corporal punishment in schools.
  • 2004: Brookline, Massachusetts, votes down a no-spanking referendum.

Copyright © 2005. Reprinted with permission from the August 2005 issue of Parents magazine.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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