SpankOut Day, USA
April 30

What is SpankOut Day USA?  “Raising Responsible (Good) Kids Without Hitting”

SpankOut Day USA was initiated in l998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior.  EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children) sponsors SpankOut Day USA on April 30th of each year. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on this day, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches  and schools. EPOCH-USA is a program of the Center for Effective Discipline and part of an international effort to end corporal punishment of children through education and legal reform. [Little Rock's SpankOut]

In October, 2000 a report of a national survey on childrearing practices, “What Grown-Ups Understand about Child Development”, was released by CIVITAS, ZERO TO THREE and  BRIO Corporation. Three thousand American adults including one thousand sixty-six parents of children under six were surveyed.  Sixty-two percent of the respondents condoned spanking as a regular form of punishment and thirty-seven percent  of parents of young children said it is appropriate to spank children two and younger as a form of punishment. Child development research indicates that spanking children leads to detrimental outcomes.  There is a great need for educational programs that help parents and caregivers develop effective non-violent discipline alternatives.  Sample programs are available from the EPOCH office. 

  Here’s what people say about SpankOut Day USA:

  “We need to support SpankOut Day USA because non-violent discipline is the only way to model the kind of behavior we want our children to emulate, thus significantly reducing violence in our society”.  Barbara Nicholson, President of Attachment Parenting International, Nashville, TN

  “We need to support SpankOut Day USA because every human being, above all every child,  has the absolute right to bodily integrity, a right which is long overdue to become law”.  Victoria S., Baltimore, MD

  “We need to support SpankOut Day USA because spanking is an inappropriate method of discipline in a civilized society.  Intimidation and fear are not effective teachers; knowledge and love are”.  Sherri D., Hillsboro, MO

  “Would Jesus of Nazareth sanction spanking?.  Not the Jesus I know!  This is the Jesus who taught non-violence and warned against anger and getting even.  The Jesus who had compassion for children when adults wanted to shove them aside.  To sense the innocence of children, Jesus said, is to glimpse the kingdom of God.  Hitting kids remains the favorite activity of some who call themselves Christian.  But to engage in this ugly practice, I am convinced, is to trivialize both the words and the example of the One who calls Christians to a new way of living.  SpankOut Day USA is a good day to ponder these truths.  "For people of faith, every day should be SpankOut Day.”  The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf, United Methodist Pastor

  “Smacking or spanking, the beating of children, is a dangerous lesson in bad behavior.  Children, like the rest of us, have a right not to be hit or humiliated.  Most parents who hit their children deeply regret it.  Smacking hurts children - and not just physically.  The aim of a no-hitting day is to get parents to stop and to think about it; to recognize that there are many positive and non-violent ways to encourage the behavior they want from their children; and to realize they never need to hit a child again.”  Peter Newell, Joint Coordinator of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, London, England

  “In l979, Sweden became the first country to end all corporal punishment of children. In the beginning, the Swedish government decided it was important to educate the public about the bad effects of corporal punishment and to help parents and child minders learn about effective alternatives.  For countries that have not ended all corporal punishment of children, a no-hitting day is an opportunity for concerned organizations and individuals to promote positive discipline of children and to call for an end to corporal punishment.”  Mali Nilsson Programme Officer on Corporal Punishment Save the Children Sweden

  “We need to support SpankOut Day USA because we believe in the goodness of children and that they are gifts from our God”.    Denise R., Columbus, OH

  You can do something to stop children from being hit, even if you only have a few minutes to help. Click here to see the SpankOut Day Tool Kit for easy, effective ideas.


EPOCH-USA, a program of the Center for Effective Discipline, is located at  155 W. Main Street, #1603 Columbus, OH 43215    tel: (614) 221-8829 

Executive Director:  Nadine Block