We’ve written quite a bit about smacking in the last few days, first with Chris Grayling’s announcement that he smacked his children and condones it, then shortly after we published some responses from charities who were kind enough to  tell us what they thought and quite some time earlier, we wrote about David Lammy MP’s own views on smacking.

Here at Researching Reform, we thought it might be interesting to see the smacking debate in another light, which is why we’ve created two sister petitions on the subject. You can find the petitions which we’ve started below, one for smacking and one against.

The petition asking the government to ban all forms of physical punishment, including smacking reads as follows:

“Smacking a child is currently legally allowed in the UK, despite laws which make it illegal for adults to physically assault each other in this way.

The 2004 Children’s Act allows the physical punishment of children, as long as the act leaves no “bruising, swelling, cuts, grazes or scratches”.

Yet, all forms of physical punishment, including smacking, are prohibited in full-time independent schools, in children’s homes, in local authority foster homes and Early Years provision. So why are parents still allowed to physically punish their children?

Research shows that smacking is not only ineffective when it comes to disciplining children, but it is also harmful to them.

This petition asks the government to remove this harmful double standard and bring smacking laws in line with all other forms of physical punishment.

We request that the government makes the physical punishment of children, including smacking, illegal.”

The petition asking the government to allow all forms of physical punishment, including smacking, reads as follows:

“Smacking children is currently allowed in the UK, as long as the act does not leave “bruising, swelling, cuts, grazes or scratches”.

Parents have the right to discipline their children as they see fit, as long as the discipline does not lead to the physical symptoms outlined above.

Whilst research exists which cautions against physical discipline, many children who experience it growing up do not suffer any after effects of the technique and go on to live full, adult lives.

We ask that the government expand the current laws to allow all forms of physical punishment, not just smacking, to remain and or be legalised.”

So, please, sign a petition, either one, and let’s get the ball rolling on an issue that deserves our attention.

Petition Against Physical Punishment, Including Smacking

Petition for Physical Punishment, Including Smacking

(The petition calling on the government to legalise all forms of physical punishment has been created on Survey Monkey, rather than the No.10 EPetition website. We were given nebulous reasons for the rejection of this petition when we tried to file it with them, so unfortunately we have had to go elsewhere to publish it).