Judge Gives Texas Mom Probation for Spanking

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A Texas judge has put a mother on probation for spanking her child.

Rosalina Gonzales pleaded guilty in court this week to a felony charge of injury to a child. Prosecutors say she spanked her 2-year-old daughter so hard it left red marks.

The child's grandmother discovered the marks and took her to the hospital to be checked out.

Before District Court Judge Lose Longoria released Gonzales he made it clear that spanking is not allowed in this day and age.

"You don't spank children today. In the old days, maybe we got spanked but that was a different world. You don't spank children -- you understand?" the judge told the defendant.

Gonzales answered, "Yes, sir."

Gonzales currently does not have custody of her daughter or other children. She's now on probation for five years and will have to take parenting classes.

The Texas Attorney General's office declined to comment Wednesday on the legality of spanking when contacted by several media organizations. However, the attorney general's website has the following information posted under the title Is "Spanking OK?"

"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. Most parents do, in fact, use corporal punishment 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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