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Rough Justice? Parents Sue Judge to Stop Spanking Sentence

Parents of a 15-year-old Texas girl are seeking a restraining order against a local Justice of the Peace, who offered the girl's step-father a choice between paying a $500 fine, or spanking his daughter in court with a paddle. The girl had been found guilty of truancy.

Justice of the Peace Gustavo Garza has been given time to consult a lawyer before the case against him for abusing citizens his power moves forward. I wonder how the lawyer will try to get him out of this one . . .

Last week Justice Garza said that the punishment was lawful, citing a statistic that 98 percent of parents choose the spanking option as opposed to the fine. I wonder how that stat gets broken down between wealthy and impoverished defendants.

Is Garza actually helping out families who may not be able to afford the fine? Should they be given the option to undergo humiliating physical punishment in public? Is there a difference between discipline and abuse?


Join The Conversation
nwjblake nwjblake 8 years
kastarte2, <> NO! The parents CHOSE the option to beat their child. Then the father did it. But the judge said he didn't beat hard enough so he would have to do it again. That is why the parents are suing.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Janneth: "Come on, it's TEXAS for goodness sake!" What do you mean by this? Have you been to Texas? And Dave, you are kidding, right?
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
@CaterpillarGirl-- OMG! I can't even imagine how terrible that must have been for you =/
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I got paddled by my pervy principal when i was 12 , for forgetting to bring in a signed report card (seriously) I was alone with him, terrified (my parents did not spank me) he had this huge paddle with holes drilled in it, grabbed me by my neck forced me onto his desk, and paddled me till I peed in my pants from the pain. I left, ran across the street to my fathers business (small town) crying hysterically and told him what happened. My dad calmly closed his business, grabbed his gun off the gun rack in his truck (god bless america) and proceeded to scare that principal into resigning or being killed. He resigned.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
This poor girl must be embarrassed to death. I think she learned her lesson now. Leave her alone now, please!
Everyone from Texas is unreasonable? Nice... Yea, skip the dirty old judge having a desire to watch a 15 year old girl being spanked, all I got from this thread is that Texans are unreasonable. I wonder why everyone and their effing mother decided to move here then... Maybe if we could get all the reasonable people that chose to move here from other states to leave, it would be a desirable location to live again.
Wikipedia Wikipedia 9 years
That's completely disgusting.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
They didn't do it willingly, so I'm thinking not a whole lot of discipline goes on behind closed doors. I'm betting the parents aren't involved with the girls life.
angel0021 angel0021 9 years
This guy is a PEDAFILE! and needs to be taken off the bench! And as for the child, social services needs to step in and take her away. Becaues no child (disobedient or not) needs to be with parents that would lesting to a Judge who told them to do someting that Ludacris or Perverse. And then they wonder why the Girl is so disobedient, I mean look if the parents would do something like that in public it makes you wonder what goes on behind closed doors.
stephley stephley 9 years
No, but I thought that sounded mean.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Do you honestly think there are any reasonable people in Texas?
stephley stephley 9 years
Sit her butt down in school and have a truant officer stand over her. Suspend every privilege the child has until she goes to school and brings home a decent report card. Make her clean floors in a soup kitchen and make sure she understands that this is her future unless she gets serious about learning something. See if it's possible to find a reasonable adult in the state of Texas to mentor her.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
See above. Community service by itself doesn't work.
verily verily 9 years
Spanking a 15 year old is sooooo grossly inappropriate. I wonder if there are grounds to call that a cruel and unusual punishment, even with the alternative $500 fine. Why not community service?
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
The link included in the post says the step father carried out the sentence in April. But they could have just paid the $500 fine. So if they choose the spanking as the option they wanted, how do they have any moral high ground on which to sue? I realize moral high ground isn't a requirement of lawsuits, but it does make them look hypocritical.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Having worked with kids on community service, I can tell you it doesn't work. They see the punishment, but not the crime.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I didn't realize that they hadn't carried out the sentence.
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
What about community service, UnDave? I think perhaps the parents can step up a bit too and maybe, I don't know, do some parenting. :) What I want to know is how can the parents be pressing a restraining order on the judge when they choose to carry out the spanking?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
So, do we send her to boot camp where she can learn some discipline and self-respect?
underyourwaves underyourwaves 9 years
I'm not anti-spanking (as a punishment, not abuse) but after a certain age... and in front of a court? Wrong on so many levels.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
megnmac - What would you suggest as an appropriate punishment for a 15 yr old who won't go to school? At this point she is obviousily a discipline problem.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I'm not sure what's worse, the judge suggesting the paddle....or the fact that the stepfather took that option and carried out the paddling?
megnmac megnmac 9 years
FIFTEEN. No, should not be ordering a spanking at that point. It is not something the judge should be allowed to order. Sick and wrong. Somehow, hand or paddle, no parent should be spanking at that age... Then again, I am not a believer in spanking - it doesn't promote problem solving and it just doesn't seem to work. It just makes the children humiliated in public and fulfills some strange need to punish on the judge's part. Ugh.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
(the judge's sentencing)
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
This is ridiculous!
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