Should Corporal Punishment be BANNED in Texas? – What does the law say?
A North Carolina court is set to determine if one Father should go to jail for “paddling” his ten year old son. Texas courts may be making this same type of decision very soon.
Some questions that arise are…Just how far can a parent go before discipline becomes abuse? Are bruises too much? Or do you have to draw blood before the police need to get involved?
The state Supreme Court heard from lawyers arguing whether to preserve a father’s misdemeanor conviction after he left bruises along his 10-year-old son’s leg. Dean Varner paddled his son for turning up his nose at pizza for dinner in 2015. The swats left black, blue and purple bruises from the boy’s hip to his knee and a bruised foot that left him limping for days. –https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/crime/article/North-Carolina-court-considers-if-father-s-12844620.php
Texas Corporal Punishment Laws
Houston Criminal Attorney Daniel Lazarine states that corporal punishment is mainly considered “spanking, paddling, or other forms of moderate physical discipline that a parent might apply” under Texas law.
Several Texas school districts already allow some form of paddling or “swats.”
TX Education Code Ch 37
Section 37.00111 USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
Sec. 37.0011. USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT. (a) In this section, “corporal punishment” means the deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline. The term does not include:
(1) physical pain caused by reasonable physical activities associated with athletic training, competition, or physical education; or
(2) the use of restraint as authorized under Section 37.0021.
(b) If the board of trustees of an independent school district adopts a policy under Section 37.001(a)(8) under which corporal punishment is permitted as a method of student discipline, a district educator may use corporal punishment to discipline a student unless the student’s parent or guardian or other person having lawful control over the student has previously provided a written, signed statement prohibiting the use of corporal punishment as a method of student discipline.
(c) To prohibit the use of corporal punishment as a method of student discipline, each school year a student’s parent or guardian or other person having lawful control over the student must provide a separate written, signed statement to the board of trustees of the school district in the manner established by the board.
(d) The student’s parent or guardian or other person having lawful control over the student may revoke the statement provided to the board of trustees under Subsection (c) at any time during the school year by submitting a written, signed revocation to the board in the manner established by the board. –http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.37.htm
Section 37 covers whether and how a school can spank a student, but what about parents?
Texas Parents and Spanking
Texas law allows parents to spank, but the spanking must be “reasonable,” which is a standard that must be determined by a “fact finder.” If a judge or jury finds your corporal punishment “unreasonable,” then you may find yourself in jail.
Is Spanking a Good Practice?
A growing number of psychological professionals are against “spanking.”
One noted psychologist has stated that your “discipline must be disciplined.” Meaning there needs to be structure, reason, and a reasonable methodology to any discipline that you apply.
So many parents discipline out of rage and anger, which is undisciplined discipline…and most likely, abuse.
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.