Friday, December 07, 2007

11 year old calls the cops on his father.

Another case of the "anti-smacking" law pulling apart families.

This is from . My comments in italics.

A Nelson father charged with assaulting his son, in one of the region's first prosecutions under a controversial new child discipline law, says he is prepared to go to jail for his right as a parent and a Christian to hit his child.

Rowan Flynn has been charged with two counts of assaulting his 11-year-old son under the new legislation, which came into effect in June and removed a parent's right to use "reasonable force" when discipling a child.

The 52-year-old denied the charges when he appeared in the Nelson District Court this week, and has chosen to have a judge and jury hear the case.

Mr Flynn, who has four children, told the Nelson Mail his son called the police two weeks ago after he hit the boy. (we have said all along that kids would be calling the cops on their parents)

Mr Flynn disputes the police summary of facts. He estimated that he hit his son five times on the bottom with a wooden spoon after he was disobedient, and said it was a "tiny issue" that blew up.

While the police visited him at home to talk to him, they did not take any action at that stage, he said.

"But I made it quite clear to the cop that if it was needed again, I would smack."

Mr Flynn said that about a week later, he "clipped" his son around the face.

Several days later, he was at home cooking dinner when the police arrived and he was arrested.

Mr Flynn said he wanted to speak out about his case because he thought he would not have been charged under the old law.

"I believe very strongly in smacking as a form of discipline. I'm a Christian, and believe it's what I've been commanded to do.

"I'm not going to lay down and take it. I'm going to kick and scream to the very end."

He said he only occasionally used the wooden spoon, when his son's behaviour was particularly bad.

He believed that passages in the Bible gave him the right to use the spoon, or "rod".

"Parents must have the right to correct their children and give them a good whack if that's what they need. (yes parents need the right to correct their children)

"All this law is doing is making criminals out of good parents. I'm not afraid to say `I smack my kids'." (that's dead right)

He believed that smacking was effective because it was an immediate form of discipline. (again very true)

"We have to have it there, because the kids just know they can get away with anything if it isn't there as a punishment.

"I don't beat my kids. I don't thrash them.

"This new law is going to destroy families. It's already started."

Mr Flynn, who is separated from his wife, said his son had been living with him under an informal arrangement until he appeared in court on Tuesday.

Mr Flynn was granted bail but refused to sign the bail bond because of a condition that he not contact his son. He said he was handcuffed, searched and spent several hours in a holding cell before being released. He intends to appeal the bail condition, and is due back in court on January 18.

Nelson Bays police area commander Inspector Brian McGurk declined to comment on the prosecution, other than to say it had always been illegal for a parent to assault a child.

A 33-year-old Masterton man recently became the first parent convicted under the new legislation. Last month, he was sentenced to nine months' supervision and counselling for grabbing his son and smacking him three times.

Green MP Sue Bradford, who campaigned for the legislation, said the law had changed to put the rights of a child to be free of violence before the rights of the parent.

"What the law is about is protecting babies, children and young people from violence."

Ms Bradford said there were many alternatives to hitting children.

"It's a huge fallacy to think that beating them is helping them. It's hurting and humiliating them." (the father said that he did not beat his kids. )


section 59 blog will keep you up to date on this latest case.


Anonymous said...

This so called adult hit his child "5" times with a wooden object, then clipped him on his face. I find it absolutely unbeleivable that anyone could condone this type of behaviour.
You are all crazy to think that smacking children does not affect them. You are probably the same people who whinge about our society being so violent.

I am a father. I am far form perfect. But.... I would never raise a hand to my children. I could never physically hurt by child. I think that anyone that can needs to stand back and take a look at what they are doing and what they are teaching the child. There are other ways.......

You all make me sick.

Andy Moore said...

Hi Anonymous,

You are right, there are many different ways for parents to discipline their children.

I have no problem with the father smacking his son 3 times on the bottom with a wooden spoon.

What I do have a problem with, is the likes of the case of two foster parents who were today found guilty of assaulting two sisters in their care, including hitting one in the face with a baseball bat.
Click here for more info

However, the dad in this case seems to be a good dad who cared enough about his son to give him a few smacks, to keep him in line.

There is a difference between a smack and child abuse.