24 Aug 2011

Civil Liberties Council wants US parenting book banned

8:10 pm on 24 August 2011

New Zealand's Civil Liberties Council say a parenting book that advocates hitting children is pernicious and should be banned.

The Department of Internal Affairs is is reviewing the content of To Train Up a Child following a complaint and could refer it to the Chief Censor to be banned or classified.

The American book is promoted as a guide to training children to make them obedient.

The recommendations of its fundamentalist Christian authors Michael and Debi Pearl include spanking or using a rod to discipline children.

On their website, the couple compare children to animals who need to be trained and talk about hitting children to teach them not to lie.

Civil Liberties Council chairman Batch Hales believes the book is dangerous, as people may use it to justify abusing children.

Mr Hales says the book is advocating a culture that New Zealand is desperately trying to get away from.

Whitcoulls says it has stopped selling the book online after it was told of the complaint.