MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni proposed last week the enactment of an
"Education and Love of Children Law." The purpose of the law
is to determine parameters for raising children --- including
punishment -- within the family framework.
Rabbi Gafni notes that the law has become essential due to
the recent ruling of the High Court denying parents the right
to punish their own children. He explains that the ruling is
a vestige of a defunct socio-educational concept.
In the proposal's first paragraph, Rabbi Gafni states that
the purpose of the law is to stress the principle that a
child should be educated by his parents. They should be in
control of his upbringing, not outside bodies. An additional
section determines that parents must educate their children
Section 3 says: "Parents have the right to determine the
manner of educating their children, except in instances in
which the method of punishment is neither judicious nor
administered without any educational purpose."
The proposed law states: "A parent who sends his children to
educational institutions is not thereby exempt from educating
them himself. The parent must inform the institution
responsible for his child about any problems which may arise.
The State will not impose educational methods upon a child
nor prevent a parent from educating his children as he sees
fit, according to any acceptable custom he chooses."
Rabbi Gafni stresses that he has no intention of permitting
abuse or unsuitable corporal punishment, but rather he wants
to enable parents to raise their children in age-old,
acceptable ways. "The recent intervention of the
establishment [in outlawing corporal punishment] is liable to
result in children rebelling against their parents and
shedding every educational framework," he stressed.