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Is spanking your child an assault?

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A Brandon, Manitoba father is fuming after he was charged with assaulting his young daughter by spanking her backside following a disruptive day at summer camp. (Read story HERE)The criminal case was eventually dropped by the Crown and the family reunited - but only after CFS briefly seized the child, the father was restricted for six months in seeing his daughter and also had to take a parenting course.The girl's mother says she took a hit as well, getting fired from her $30,000 per year job where she worked with local teens and also being forced to attend parenting 101.The father admits to hitting the girl with an open hand over her clothes "three or four" times because of her misbehaviour. The impact was apparently enough to cause bruising, which was spotted a couple days later by supervisors at the camp and reported to police.The father is upset because the Criminal Code actually allows parents to physically discipline their children. Section 43 permits a defence to assault for corporal punishment by a parent, teacher or guardian, provided the force is deemed reasonable.Police and justice officials apparently felt what happened here went beyond reasonable, at least in initially laying charges.But this entire case has certainly re-ignited the old debate about whether parents should ever lay a hand on their children.As I've stated before, one of the most common things I hear from people in their 60s and 70s when I do public speaking on crime and justice issues is how they wish the strap would be brought back to Canada.Many feel young people today are coddled too much and aren't being set straight before it's too late.That experience certainly differs from mine. I was never spanked as a child, have never spanked my own two children and don't believe inflicting physical pain actually solves anything.I've covered far too many cases where childhood victims of abuse - often at the hands of their parents - turn out to be abusers themselves.Bringing violence of any kind into the home seems to only encourage that vicious cycle to continue.I think one of the biggest problem with young people these days is the fact parents aren't spending enough quality time with their kids - if any at all. Of course, far too many children have no parental figure or role model in their lives, and the result is predictably sad.Many will call me a softie - or worse - for suggesting spanking won't solve anything. And I'm fine with that.I just believe a parent should lead by example and show your kids the right path in life - instead of just the back of your hand.www.mikeoncrime.com

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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