Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer/Flickr

Spanking at Home and in the Classroom, What’s Right and Wrong?

A recent YouTube video of a Texas judge beating his then 16-year-old daughter with a leather belt has reignited the debate over the effectiveness and morality of corporal punishment in the home. Judge William Adams, 51, contended he did nothing wrong and was simply punishing his daughter for stealing after the teen was caught downloading illegally distributed music from the internet. Local police in Aransas, Texas have launched an investigation into the judges actions, but under state law — provided the actions were administered in the interest of “reasonable punishment” – prosecutors may not have a statute to stand on. Corporal punishment in the home had long been permissible under Texas law, and in 2005 state legislators took steps to strengthen those rights. House Bill 383 effectively set the standard for parental discipline as “reasonable punishment” and placed the burden of proof for abuse cases in the hands of the prosecutors.