Opinion Brief

Spank your kid, get 5 years probation?

A Texas mom is slapped with an "egregious" punishment after swatting her 2-year-old — outraging many parents

The spanking debate is back, after a Texas woman was sentenced to five years of probation, under a plea agreement for swatting her 2-year-old on the behind. Rosalina Gonzales of Corpus Christi was also fined $50 and ordered to attend parenting classes. Gonzales lost custody of her kids in December, and she won't get them back until the court deems her capable. "In the old days, maybe we got spanked," Judge Jose Longoria told Gonzales. But "you don't spank children today." Does he have a point?

No. This takes nanny-state intrusion to an "absurd" new level: Gonzales "did not use a belt" and "she didn't draw blood, break any bones, or even leave bruises," says Dathan A. Paterno at Big Government. She spanked her kid on the behind. That's hardly a "heinous crime." This "egregious judicial overreach" is about imposing the judge's obvious liberal agenda, not the law.
"Judges gone wild, Texas style"

Well, parents need to know times have changed: Yes, "a swat on the butt is OK" under Texas law, says Margaret Hartmann at Jezebel, but it's illegal if it injures the child. Gonzales got in trouble because her spanking left red marks, and her daughter's paternal grandmother noticed. "The school of thought on corporal punishment has shifted in the past few generations," and harsh spanking now crosses the line of what's acceptable.
"Mom gets probation for spanking daughter"

Spanking is unnecessary, but not abusive: "I don't think spanking is OK," says Meredith Carroll at Babble. Nothing a toddler is capable of justifies laying a hand on her, especially since the only message she'll get is that hitting is acceptable behavior. But I also "don't exactly equate spanking with child abuse," so it does seem that denying Gonzales custody of her three children over this, even temporarily, might be a bit excessive.
"Woman loses custody of kids after spanking her 2-year-old"

Recommended

The Week contest: AI pizza
Paris's first robotic pizzeria.
Feature

The Week contest: AI pizza

What are the 'Murdaugh murders'?
Alex Murdaugh mugshot in greyscale
Briefing

What are the 'Murdaugh murders'?

6 sunny homes for warmer winters
House
Feature

6 sunny homes for warmer winters

Is ChatGPT a threat to English class?
A composition book.
Theara Coleman

Is ChatGPT a threat to English class?

Most Popular

The big debate about alcohol
Alcohol.
In depth

The big debate about alcohol

Schiff, Omar, and Swalwell unleash on McCarthy's committee rejections
Eric Swalwell, Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff
The gloves are off

Schiff, Omar, and Swalwell unleash on McCarthy's committee rejections

Egypt's mummified 'golden boy' digitally unwrapped 2,300 years after burial
entrance to the Egyptian Museum
history unveiled

Egypt's mummified 'golden boy' digitally unwrapped 2,300 years after burial