ACCM says laws to prevent corporal punishment in homes is a direct overreach

The Association of Christian Communicators and Media (ACCM) says government’s effort to curtail longstanding and acceptable disciplinary tools available to parents is a direct overreach.

The group adds that this can only be seen as an effort to replace the role of parents in the home.

The ACCM was reacting to a recent pronouncement by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck indicating that government is seeking to introduce laws to prevent corporal punishment in homes.

According to ACCM Vice President Byron Buckley, this is of deep concern as the family remains the foremost and primary unit of socialisation and the responsibility for the discipline of children must remain in and with the home.

He is suggesting instead that the government urgently establishes a unit to focus on rebuilding the family and helping parents cope with the challenges of child rearing in Jamaica.

Mr. Buckley said while the abuse of children must never be condoned and that the long arm of the law must bring to justice any parent who abuses his or her child, slapping a child appropriately as part of disciplinary measures is not considered abuse.

He noted that Mr. Chuck labels slapping children as ‘wrong’ and said that the use of straps, whips, or belts must not be used to beat any child and all forms of slapping must be pulled from acceptable disciplinary measures.

The association says that the absence of a unit that focuses on family and works actively to slow and halt the continued disintegration of the family structure within society could further increase indiscipline among children.

It adds that unless the family is strengthened, celebrated and encouraged to function as an effective and coercive unit, children are at risk, and the societal framework will continue to weaken.


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