A Texas mother has been sentenced to five years probation for spanking her daughter.
Rosalina Gonzalez pleaded guilty in a courtroom in Corpus Christi last week to charges of Injury to a Child. She smacked her two-year-old daughter on the behind last December. The spanking left a red mark, which the child's grandmother saw. She called police.
In addition to the probation, Gonzalez must attend parenting classes and follow Children Services guidelines.
In sentencing Gonzalez, Judge Jose Longoria basically outlawed spanking.
"You don't spank children today," Longoria said. "In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don't spank children."
However it appears the judge's opinion does not follow Texas law. NPR reports that according to the Texas Attorney General's website, spanking is not illegal.
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.
The website goes on to describe where the line between spanking and abuse might be. It seems the AG's opinion is that if it's in the buttocks, the parent uses their open hand, a brush or a belt and doesn't leave a "bruise, welt, or swelling," it's likely OK.