- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2017

Scotland is on its way to become the first nation in the United Kingdom to ban spanking as a form of parental discipline, the BBC reported Thursday.

The Scottish government has confirmed that the votes appear to be in place to pass the ban in the devolved parliament in Edinburgh, the BBC reported. 

Conservative critics like former Free Church of Scotland minister the Rev. David Robertson fear it could “criminalize good parents just for tapping their child on the hand.”

As it stands law throughout the United Kingdom, parents may spank their children but could face criminal sanction if they do so using “reasonable chastisement.” Use of implements such as a belt or switch are forbidden, as is striking a child on the head, according to the BBC.

The National Assembly for Wales is also looking at enacting a similar “smacking” ban in that jurisdiction, the BBC reported.

The United Kingdom is one of nine European countries that allows spanking.

According to the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, most European countries already ban spanking “in all settings.” At least one, Austria, forbids the practice both in statute and via the nation’s constitution.

The continental commitment to swearing off swatting was illustrated earlier this year in Salzburg, when a local councilwoman’s request to name a bike path after the city’s arguably most famous musical denizen, Maria von Trapp, was declined.

The reason? The real life, a devoutly Catholic former nun, was known to employ corporal punishment to discipline her large musical brood.

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