A judge who ordered parents to paddle their children with a wooden board in an open courtroom or face hefty fines has been warned his mode of punishment is not acceptable by a Texas judicial conduct panel.
Well Gawd bless those Texans for some common sense.
Judge Gustavo Garza has told parents of truant children they would have to pay as much as $500 if they didn’t take a board, labeled “board of education” and spank their kids. One dad is suing, saying he reluctantly paddled his stepdaughter, only to have Garza tell him he hadn’t hit her hard enough.
Since when does a judge get to advocate violence to prove a point? Because even the pro-spanking crowd has to admit that telling a parent to hit their child with a paddle – and to hit “harder” is something intended to inflict pain.
As Hannah pointed out recently,
in all fifty states, it is legal for parents to hit, spank, paddle, or
children. Legal, but not required. Just like I can’t be compelled to
raise my child a Catholic or a Jew or force her to eat meat or not, I
can’t be forced to use spanking as my form of discipline.
One lawyer likened Garza’s courtroom to something out the Jerry Springer Show, and I’d tend to agree. The idea of the law sneaking into parents’ homes makes me uncomfortable, and I admit a slight hesitancy in supporting the concept of an anti-spanking law – because I’ve worried how far-reaching it can go. But when the opposite is in affect, when a judge forces a parent to hit their child, using the force of the law, we’re right up there with the countries that practice torture.
What happened to Amendment 8 of the Constitution? You know, the one that says judges shall not call for “cruel or unusual punishments” for criminals? Maybe it’s time to take Judge Garza over our knee and show him what it’s liked to be punished for abusing his power.