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Is David Lammy right about the issue of smacking?

CONTROVERSIAL: David Lammy

LABOUR MP David Lammy recently suggested that smacking laws should be relaxed to allow working class parents more room to instil discipline in their children without fear of being prosecuted.

Lammy said that following the August riots, people in his north London constituency, Tottenham - where riots began last August after police shot dead a local man - told him they felt unable to discipline their children because of laws imposed in 2004.

The riots later developed into a free-for-all looting spree across Britain. Many of the rioters were young people, who got involved for a mix of reasons including anger at the police and a lack of discipline.

Previously, Lammy was criticised for appearing to suggest during a radio interview that a lack of smacking was one reason for young rioters’ behaviour. Lammy later told the Guardian he was not suggesting the riots could be blamed on a lack of smacking.

However, he said the issue of discipline needs to be tackled because of many parents’ lack of understanding about the smacking laws.

Below The Voice asks readers: ‘What do you think of MP David Lammy’s suggestion that smacking laws should be relaxed so parents can discipline their children?’

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ABI AFOLAYAN

Spare the rod and spoil the child. It is in the Bible. If you spare the rod, we risk children of today growing up without manners. Children today use the fact that they know they can’t be beaten to their advantage.

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NANA ABA

Smacking is not always necessary. I think it’s needed sometimes but some parents might get carried away. It will not work on every child, the same way that talking doesn’t always work. I say an American boot camp or African style boarding school is needed in Britain.

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SEYI OGUNLANA

It depends on the purpose and intention. If a parent does it to correct a child - a child who is not heeding to the correction - then it is right. It is only smacking if it is done correctly. It should never be done in anger though.

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JOSEPH LUCAS

They should not be allowed to use force. The underlying problem is not smacking. The problem is with people not being parents to their children. Smacking is not always the solution to a rebellious child. Relaxing the law on smacking could lead to abuse.

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IDRIS OKE

Smacking does not solve anything. The child would eventually adjust to it. When I was growing up I did a few things. I knew I was going to get smacked but it did not stop me from doing it.

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