Apparently spanking your child is a felony now

posted at 2:30 pm on June 18, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Let me guess. You saw a post with the word “spanking” in the title and assumed this was another column about Anthony Weiner. Not so! A notorious felon in Texas has been brought to justice on charges of Injury to a Child. The outlaw in question is Rosalina Gonzales and her crime is described as spanking her own child.

A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas had some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child before sentencing her to probation.

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

Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” They noted she didn’t use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.

As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she’ll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Something tells me that we shouldn’t be rushing over the cliff on this story just yet. I admit that my first reaction was very much in line with Datechguy, who finds our far too permissive “time out” society to be at the core of many social problems today. I came from a family where fairly stern discipline was applied and I think my siblings and I came out much the better for it. (My mom had a wooden spoon she kept for such purposes in one particular kitchen drawer. Fifty plus years later I still find myself steering a wide path around that drawer.)

But in this particular court case – especially in Texas of all places – I have to wonder if there isn’t more to this story we’re not being told yet. First of all, the article mentions in passing that Ms. Gonzales “doesn’t have custody of the child or her other two children, is trying to get them back.” Is this as a result of this particular incident, or had she already lost custody previously? Further, the “red marks” in question were noted by the grandmother, apparently some time after the incident, so they might have been more durable and serious than the brief sting and redness of a typical paddling. Something compelled the grandmother to take the rather drastic course of bringing the child to the hospital and they filed a report.

Finally, the child in question is two years old. How badly can a two year old be behaving to justify a serious session across mom’s knee? I don’t think I ever managed to get into that kind of trouble until at least when I was in elementary school.

Maybe this story is exactly as it seems and the courts in Texas are running amok. But it’s got my spider senses tingling and I’d like to know more of the details before we hang this judge out to dry as some sort of nanny state fanatic. Until we get those details I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.

UPDATE: My apologies, but I forgot to include the link to the original story in the post. Corrected.

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Perry should pardon her immediately

DaMav on June 18, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I had thought of the same thing!

JellyToast on June 18, 2011 at 10:43 PM

My dad used to beat me up with his belt all the time. Now that was going too far. Not a little spanking like in this case.

SoulGlo on June 18, 2011 at 11:22 PM

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” For us, that worked out to be just a few swats from time to time, and then just a warning would do the trick. If kids learn early to respect what the parent says and to obey the first time, most of the spanking is over with. To not spank at all might work for some really compliant children, but most will test the boundaries. Really young kids can’t reason out that the blue pretty soap for the toilet, or the cool truck in the road outside can hurt them for real. The spanking teaches them to obey–for their protection.

Vanquisher on June 18, 2011 at 11:22 PM

I came from a family with strong discipline and got PTSD from it. It took me years to overcome it.

MSimon on June 19, 2011 at 1:42 AM

BTW I have 4 kids and gave one of them one spanking (for hitting his younger brother) once. I was sorry for years afterward. And that is the total extent of my harsh discipline for all my children.

None of them have been a discipline problem.

MSimon on June 19, 2011 at 1:45 AM

That judge needs an ass whoopin’ Stat!

esnap on June 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM

looks like liberalism run amok in Teas. Who’da thunk it?

kanda on June 19, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Agree that there may be more to the story. However, the judge said; “You don’t spank children today,”. He didn’t say you don’t spank them too hard or when they are too young or any other qualifier. And if you think two is too young, you must not have any kids of your own. That is when they need it. If you are still spanking them in elementary school, you are too late. You get their attention early, establish yourself as the authority figure and there is no need to do it later. You cannot rationalize with a two year old. You can start with a seven year old and you had better be able to with an 13 year old. You don’t explain the concept of electricity and death to a two year old, you pop their hand and tell them no when they stick a fork in the outlet.

pgrossjr on June 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM

No one who has ever watched a cat with her kittens or a dog with her puppies can possibly believe that mild corporal punishment is in any way unnatural, unusual – or ineffective. It takes human dysfunctional psychology, however, to go from slapping a two-year-old hand reaching for a hot stove to beating up a teenager with a belt.

Rule of thumb: if your child is ‘old enough to know better’ and, regardless of the form it takes, he or she is more upset after they are punished than they were when you told them they were going to be, you’re not doing it right.

Knott Buyinit on June 19, 2011 at 10:41 AM

The defendant was given HORRIBLE legal advice, to accept a PLEA deal. DUMB! ……………. The only thing I can think of is that she was not going to be convicted of merely spanking, if it went to trial. There may have been photos of “ACTUAL” injury, possibly. But, spanking is not illegal, still. Child abuse is a huge problem in TEXAS, however spanking is not child abuse.

PENAL CODE

TITLE 2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY

CHAPTER 9. JUSTIFICATION EXCLUDING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER F. SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS

Sec. 9.61. PARENT-CHILD. (a) The use of force, but not deadly force, against a child younger than 18 years is justified:

(1) if the actor is the child’s parent or stepparent or is acting in loco parentis to the child; and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary to discipline the child or to safeguard or promote his welfare.

(b) For purposes of this section, “in loco parentis” includes grandparent and guardian, any person acting by, through, or under the direction of a court with jurisdiction over the child, and anyone who has express or implied consent of the parent or parents.

tx2654 on June 19, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Ha! When I was a kid (also 50 some odd years ago) my Mom always asked for my belt when she wanted to give me a spanking. So I stopped wearing one. Sure, I unintentionally mooned a few people over time, but at least I made sure she had to go out of her way to find something to spank me with.

I was in my teens before I felt comfortable around belts…

karl9000 on June 19, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Mules respond best to genital gentle persuasion, after you have gotten his attention with a few good whacks with a stout stick.

Slowburn on June 18, 2011 at 6:22 PM

FIFY. (I devoutly hope!)

tom on June 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she’ll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The scam.
The system is nothing but a heiarchy of payment systems in the form of ‘classes’ & ‘fees’.
Counseling, parenting classes, advocates for this & that, all designed to ‘create’ jobs for lawyers, judges, social workers & other assorted parasites.
I’m not saying that some of these people don’t do any good.
Of course some of them do.
But most of it is nothing short of an assault on our Const liberties.
Family Law often violates Const rights.
And no one says a word about it.

Badger40 on June 19, 2011 at 6:52 PM

tom on June 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Your correction is shamefully accepted.

Slowburn on June 19, 2011 at 7:04 PM

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