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Texas judge sentences mom for spanking, although state law allows it

Spanking your kids can send you to jail in Corpus Christi, Texas, although corporal punishment is allowed by Texas law.

“This week, a local woman avoided jail time,” reports KZTV News, “but her case made it clear that local prosecutors and judges will not tolerate what used to be a much more accepted practice. Back in December, police arrested Rosalina Gonzales for ‘Injury to a Child,’ related to the spanking of her daughter, who was nearly two years old at the time.

The child’s grandmother had noticed red marks on the child’s buttocks, and took her to a local hospital. Wednesday, Gonzales was in court to plead guilty to the charge after reaching an agreement with prosecutors. She’ll be on probation for five years and during that time, will have to take parenting classes, follow all Child Protective Services guidelines, and make a one-time $50 payment to the local Children’s Advocacy Center.


KVTV reports:

But before she was let go, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria made it very clear to her and everyone else that even a simple straight forward case of spanking is a crime.

“You don’t spank children today,” said Longoria, “in the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children. You understand?”

Gonzales answered, “Yes, sir.”

Gonzales currently does not have custody of the two-year-old victim or her other two children.

She is working with CPS to get them back, but until the state feels that she is ready, the kids will remain with their paternal grandmother.

The Texas Attorney General’s office declined to comment today on the legality of spanking.


A spokesman referred us to the Nueces County District Attorney’s office, but Mark Skurka did not return our call for comment.

A CPS spokesman did tell us that spanking is considered criminal when it injures a child.

We found the following information on the Texas Attorney General’s website under the title “Is Spanking Okay?”:

“Texas law allows the use of force, but not deadly force, against a child by the child’s parent, guardian, or other person who is acting in loco parentis [in the absence of the parents]. Most parents do, in fact, use corporal punishment (in the form of spanking) at least occasionally, and most do not, in fact, consider it abusive. Experts disagree about the advisability of ever spanking a child. Some say that, combined with other methods of discipline, mild spanking of a small child is harmless and effective. Others claim that other methods of discipline work as well as spanking or better, and that spanking is not necessary. Many child advocates and experts in child development contend that all forms of corporal punishment, including spanking, are harmful. Most believe that spanking an infant is always inappropriate. The law does not attempt to arbitrate between the different views on the best method of disciplining a child. What we do know is that severe corporal punishment can be extremely damaging and dangerous, and this is what the law prohibits as abuse.”

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ben Melnichuk

    I fear the day when the world will be run by vile people being controlled by satan because no one can give our children the firm hand anymore. The bible gives us the right to discipline them when need be.

    Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

    Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.”

    Proverbs 23:13-14: “Withold not discipline from the child, for if you strike and punish him with the rod, he will not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

    Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

    Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment paul lorenzo

    What a joke. Part of punishment is to attend parenting classes. Who are the teachers, Child Protective Services? If they are anything like DCF here in Florida watch out. They can’t even keep track of the kids they are responsible for caring for. Spankings are more painful to the administrator than the receiver. I spanked my two boys from approx. 5 yrs.-10, and never with anger. Set them over my knee and 2 or 3 quick whacks on the buttocks with a 3″-4″ wide 1/2 thick peice of wood. I hated it, but it got their attention. Secretly I would cry. They were up and running around after 10 minutes. ANd you know what they hugged me everyday and told me they loved me.

    How dare a judge decide how we will discipline our children. As long as no abuse is involved. I blame the smart mouth, disrespectful attitude of today’s kids on the fact that a lot of parents, teachers, and judges feel we need to kiss the kids butts rather than spank it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment alan

    So how is it legal for a judge to punish someone for doing something that is legal.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lauren

    sounds like the judge punished the mom because the spanking was “Severe.” I think that’s fine. We don’t have access as the Court did to the pics and info about the kid’s level of damage. Texas judges don’t very often do this, which makes me think the judge had a pretty darn good reason.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pammy

    Maybe the Judge needs to be spanked some more. No spanking is part of the problem with our kids today, they have no fear of punishment…ooh take away a privalege…scary. Moron Judge

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