Brand New Legal Controversy Disciplining Children
Published on 06/25/2011 -
Texas judge Jose Longoria sentenced Rosalina Gonzalez to five years' probation for something that's not even illegal in that state. Her crime? Spanking her child. The case has sparked controversy about an issue often kept mum among parents.
Here are the facts of Gonzalez's case:
- The child's grandmother noticed red marks on the child and took her to the hospital for examination.
- Gonzalez admitted, in court, to spanking her daughter.
- Her spanking did not leave marks on the child.
- She pleaded guilty to a felony charge of causing injury to a child and got a sentence of probation, parenting classes and a small fine.
Texas law explicitly permits spanking, and clarifies that using force to discipline children is acceptable when done with certain instruments (an open hand, a belt) on certain body parts (the buttocks) and leaves no welts or bruises.Corporal Discipline at Home: Who's to Decide?
As it turns out, the issue of corporal punishment is hot. And for every person who thinks states shouldn't be allowed to regulate spanking at all, there's one who thinks current laws are too lenient.
It's a tricky issue for a number of reasons:
- It involves young children. They're not the most reliable witnesses (when they can talk at all) and often aren't old enough to testify. But spanking is usually a pretty private affair, meaning that determining what exactly happened in any case can be tough.
- It's an area where traditional and contemporary thought are sharply at odds. You know the saying, "spare the rod, spoil the child?" That's still considered good advice by a lot of people. But to many others, the hands-off approach to discipline is king.
- It's hard to define. When does spanking become abuse? An exact distinction is impossible and any approximate description feels almost silly.
Because Ms. Gonzalez pleaded guilty, she wont be able to appeal the decision, but the case has brought the issue to national attention. Future cases might add to the fire.
Published on 11/22/2013
By John Clark As bullying becomes increasingly dangerous for young people in the United States,... Read more
Published on 11/15/2013
By John Clark An Illinois DUI case involving a defendant who inhaled a computer cleaning produc... Read more
Published on 11/08/2013
By John Clark Another Atlantic City casino is ... Read more
Published on 11/01/2013
By John Clark The Supreme Court may soon rule on the legality of warrantless government surveil... Read more
Published on 10/25/2013
By John Clark A ruling last week in the United States District Court for the District of Columb... Read more
Published on 10/17/2013
By John Clark A drunk driver in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty this week to causing a ... Read more
Published on 10/10/2013
By John Clark In a move that stirred a national controversy, the Los Angeles Police Department ... Read more
Published on 10/03/2013
By John Clark A California doctor is facing a ... Read more
Published on 09/30/2013
By John Clark As technology evolves, criminal laws tend to lag several years behind. The recent... Read more
Published on 09/18/2013
By John Clark Florida police allegedly beat a woman during a DUI arrest, and her ... Read more