Welsh Christians encouraged to participate in consultation on proposed smacking ban

Christians in Wales have been encouraged to participate in a 12-week consultation on a proposed ban on smacking, or the physical punishment of children, which had already been outlawed in Scotland since last year.

(REUTERS / Aly Song)A coach scolds a young gymnastics student during a training session at a gymnastics school in Shanghai March 23, 2012.

Speaking to Premier's News Hour in an interview, Alistair Thompson of the Be Reasonable campaign said there was no need to change the law. He added that it was acceptable to spank children gently in such a way that it would not leave a mark.

"There's been a lot of very emotive language used that changing law will stop assaulting children," Thompson told Premier. "Assaulting a child is already illegal. What is permissible at the moment is a gentle smack that can redden the skin temporarily but not leave any other mark."

In addition, Thompson said parents were the ones who knew best how to discipline their own children. He mentioned that the surveys revealed that a majority of families were not in favor of implementing the smacking ban.

For this reason, Thompson is calling on everyone to participate in the consultation over the proposed smacking ban. This way, they will be able to prevent the state from dictating how they should or should not discipline their children.

Meanwhile, Wales Online reported that the Welsh people were divided on the proposed smacking ban. The publication spoke to residents of Cardiff and found that while some think the measure is "ludicrous," there were others who thought it was important.

Janet Hopkins from Llanelli, who is not in favor of the smacking ban, said parents should be the ones in charge of their kids, not the government. Sandra Harries, meanwhile, said discipline should be taken in moderation, and noted that she and the others in her family turned out fine even though they experienced being spanked during their younger years.

Penny Bowers, who does not have children, thinks that children should not be spanked and instead be subjected to "more positive" forms of discipline. Howard Williams said the consultation was a good idea because the law on assault and discipline will finally be given clarity.