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Judge Forces Parents to Spank or Pay

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The Texas judge who gave parents the option to spank their kids in court or pay a fine has been warned to stop the controversial practice.


In Judge Gustavo Garza's court if your kid has been charged with truancy, you get two options: either pay a fine of $500 or spank your kid with large plank emblazoned with "Board of Education" in front of everyone in the courtroom. In one such incident a father reluctantly paddled his 14-year-old daughter because he could not afford the fine. According to reports,  Garza chided him for not hitting her harder.

Recently, the judge got his first warning to curb his practice because he "subjected the students and their parents to public embarrassment, humiliation, fear and pain, and failed to maintain proper order and decorum in the courtroom as required by the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct."

But Garza disagrees with the criticism, saying the spankings have a positive effect and reduce truancy.

Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Chrystal Evans thinks the practice of public paddling as a method to combat truancy is severely flawed. "Public spanking would give the children a sense of shame and guilt and that feeds into the whole reason they're probably truant in the first place," say Dr. Evans.

Do you think any good can come from Judge Garza's method of punshiment?

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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Bob April 3, 2009, 9:12 AM

Good for the Judge because someone needs to get these Kids to mind. The courts interferred with my children life’s so much I couldn’t even get them thru school. Because mom allowed them to what every they wanted. The courts told me she has a right to have our children 50% of the time, I fought this for 12 yrs. Now we have 3 uneducated young men without jobs and no future. I was told by our judge that kids could live out of a suit case, and they would do just fine, the oldest is 22 with a wife and 2 kids and no job and living with me now, and also unemployed. So some one in the courts system needs to figure it out. Because If I was allowed to raise my kids they would have least got education. Oh yes and my 18yrs has not step into a school since he was in the 8th grade when mom got full custody of our children. So I would just like to thank the courts in southern Ohio, the judge was so right. At least this judge is making a differance.

Peggy April 3, 2009, 9:16 AM

Oh my God, Any & All Gods, this judge is completely & serverly damaged himself if he believes that hitting in any shape or form is beneficial. I think some one needs to stand him in the middle of court romm and paddle him for his stupidity and for the promotion of violence. I honestly don’t believe this man should continue in his current position as a judge. Wake up
America. These children are our future. It is our duty and responsiblity to give them every chance at a happy & successful future free from violence. Stand up and being counted and help stop this absurd behavior. Shame on you judge. You have lost your better judgement, its time for you to step down & reevalutate your own principals. Get a grib man. Make a difference, not a disturbance. My sympathy is with the family who was forced to stand before this man who clearly has taken full advantage of his position., extra hugs & kisses for your daughter and for you. Stay strong and stand firm in your beliefs.

brad April 3, 2009, 9:35 AM

I can see some lawsuits coming out of this. It would not to be hard to show or prove emotional disstress related to an incident of being physically punished and humiliated in public. Here is another example of a failed and outdated justice system run by people who have no understanding of contempory society.

mum April 3, 2009, 10:37 AM

Shame and guilt are not the reasons a child is truant, so I’m afraid the Dr.’s comments are flawed as well. Kids are truant because they don’t feel like going to school.Thay are not ashamed or guilty about it, only disappointed when they are caught. Perhaps the judges decisions are flawed but let’s face facts; kids can be apathetic and not want to go school without it being a sad state of victimhood.

matilde April 3, 2009, 12:01 PM

i vote for you i want to thank the judge,that is one of the best news i have heard in years,i think in my opinion that he is doing what some parents are scare to do,because of these stupid laws.

Lynns Daughter April 3, 2009, 12:57 PM

I for one do not like this cheap publicity stunt. If they can’t afford the fine, then the kid should be made to work it off, by doing community service. Some trash picking would do truant kids and their parents some good. All paddling with a board does is make the kids hate and resent authority figures.

Ken_Keezee April 3, 2009, 1:37 PM

“I think some one needs to stand him in the middle of court romm and paddle him for his stupidity and for the promotion of violence.”
Just what are you promoting here, Peggy?
Who does this make stupid?

Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever April 3, 2009, 3:18 PM

How is this allowed when parents can have their kids taken away for spanking them? I guess that doesn’t happen in Texas. How traumatic for the kids.

surprised April 3, 2009, 3:24 PM

About time !!
Children cut school because they have no fear. Think about it this way if they end up in jail what do you think will happen to them? or because they are not where they are suppose to be what would you say if they are kidnapped and forced into the sex trade industry.

Wow April 3, 2009, 4:21 PM

14? Isn’t that a little old for a spanking, especially if they are using that paddle as intended, on a bare bottom? Bordering on sexual abuse, in my opinion…

aerialla April 3, 2009, 6:18 PM

Way to go judge. Not fearing authority is the reason why so many of our young adults become the prisoners in today’s society. We need to take things back to the old way of doing them. Happy spoiled children do not breed a better future, but make a society of cry babies you blame everyone else for their screw ups in life and wind up becoming the dead beats we all pay for. Way to go judge your taking one brat out at a time. This is coming from a 32 year old mom of 2.

Bec Thomas April 3, 2009, 10:26 PM

I can’t believe he hasn’t been removed from the bench yet.

messyMom April 3, 2009, 11:50 PM

is this all the doc has to say about this?

Louise April 4, 2009, 12:47 AM

Wow … so lets get this straight, in our state of NH if I am to strike my child with an object I am breaking the law and can be arrested and have my child removed from my home, however in Texas a judge can force you to strike your child with a wooden paddle and do so in public, not only causing physical injury but humiliation to the child?

Is it just me or does something seem seriously screwed up with the way the system works?

Silky April 11, 2009, 2:24 AM

This is not only ‘bordering’ on abuse, it IS abuse. I think the judge should be asked to resign his position… and if anyone else forced a parent to abuse their child — especially in public — I should think this man should not only step down, I think he should be arrested and incarcerated, not to mention evaluated by psychiatrists, to find out why he enjoys watching pain of others. Isn’t this called ‘Sadism’ ?

The only thing you teach someone when you hit, is to hit. 14 is too old for a spanking, and public humiliation (for self-gratification on the judge’s part??) went out with the Dark Ages. I don’t believe in striking a child, and I also believe the boards of education everywhere should stand up in protest!

Ms. Monica April 30, 2009, 6:21 AM

I don’t know if spanking is going to help with truancy but they need to try it in courts where kids are caught with drugs and are doing serious crime.

PDeverit July 28, 2009, 5:10 PM

Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

There are several reasons why child buttock-beating isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

PDeverit July 28, 2009, 5:35 PM

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational literature, testimonies, documentation, etc, available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research on the topic. Just a handful of those raising awareness of why child buttock-beating isn’t a good idea: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center For Effective Discipline, PsycHealth Behavioral Health Professionals, Churches’ Network For Non-Violence, Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (supports Global Initiative), Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Countries where child buttock-beating is illegal: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Italy, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Iceland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Spain, Costa Rica, Republic of Moldova, and more in process. In fact, the United States was the only UN member who did not sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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