Britain Bans the Belt

updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 11/11/1998 12:00AM

Kids, quick: Move to England. Under government proposals released Tuesday, Britons will no longer be allowed to discipline their children by spanking them with anything other than their hands. All implements, such as canes, belts or slippers, will be prohibited, as will smacking a child's head, eyes or ears. The proposal, which is still only a recommendation, stops short of an outright ban on physical discipline, however. "We are determined to ensure that nothing undermines a parent's right to discipline a child in a loving and caring environment," Health Minister John Hutton told reporters. "We do not believe the criminal law should dictate to a parent's responsibility for their children."

Correction: In Tuesday's Daily, we incorrectly identified the title of J.K. Rowling's book. The correct title is "Harry Potter and the Scorcerer's Stone."

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