Melbourne, Oct 15 (ANI): An Aussie mum was hauled before cops and accused of assault for disciplining her nine-year-old daughter with a wooden spoon.
Claire Davidson was warned by the officers that she risked being charged with "assault with a weapon" after her daughter revealed during a classroom discussion on bullying that her mum smacked her.
According to the Herald Sun, a shocked Davidson revealed a support worker from Yea Primary School had reported her to the police.
"I was told it was assault with a weapon to hit her with a wooden spoon on the bum," News.com.au quoted Davidson as saying.
The case has sparked a major debate between parent groups and child welfare advocates over smacking.
Davidson said she grew up with a wooden spoon in the house and admitted she and her partner, Joe Oravec, used it - sparingly - on their Year 3 daughter, Anna.
"We only use the wooden spoon and that is only when she is being naughty and we give her fair chance to rectify the situation and we talk her through it," she revealed.
"I give her three warnings and then it is spoon time," she explained.avidson, of Flowerdale, said officers at the sexual offences and child abuse unit at Seymour spoke to her daughter.
"She (the officer) said if it did happen again, or was reported to her again, she would charge us with assault with a weapon," she revealed.
"We are allowed to threaten her with it. We are just not allowed to use it," she stated.
A Victoria Police spokesman said smacking a child may constitute unlawful assault or lawful chastisement, and each case had to be judged on its merits.We are not going to take every single smacking case to court, but the full facts of every case have to be taken into account," he said.
Yea Primary School refused to comment on the case for privacy reasons but said the safety and well being of students was paramount.
"Our support staff are on hand to assist students in that regard," principal Deborah George said.
An Education Department spokeswoman said staff were obliged to report any alleged abuse to authorities.
A spokeswoman for the Minister for Children, Maxine Morand, said the Government had no plans to ban smacking.
"The minister is unaware of the specific details of this case so cannot comment on it," she said.
And the Australian Childhood Foundation's Joe Tucci said: "Children should never have to be hurt to be taught a lesson.""It is not affective in shaping children's behaviour," he stated.
Criminal lawyer James Dowsley added: "Just because you are mother or daughter doesn't make you exempt from the law."
"There needs to be degrees and you would need to carefully examine each case.
"It comes down to the severity of it. It does happen where parents are charged with assaulting their children," he added.
Child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said there were better ways to discipline a child.
"I prefer parents not to do it, but I am not going to criminalize them for doing it," he added. (ANI)