Judge: dad had right to spank child

WASHINGTON — A New York judge overturned an earlier ruling and declared a father’s spanking of his 8-year-old son “a reasonable use of force.”

A Suffolk County Family Court judge determined last year that the father of the boy had abused his son “by inflicting excessive corporal punishment.” He had allegedly hit the child with an open hand after the child cursed at a party at a friend’s home in 2012. The prosecution also alleged that when the two got home, the father continued to hit the child on the legs, buttocks and arms with a belt.

The father has acknowledged spanking the child as punishment for cursing at an adult, but denies ever using the belt.

This isn’t the first time the courts have dealt with the question, to spank or not to spank. According to the NY Daily News, a federal appeals court in California ruled last year that a woman who hit her 12-year-old daughter in the rear with a wooden spoon should not be labeled a “child abuser.”

Meanwhile, a federal panel in Florida ruled that a single spank does not qualify as domestic violence, and a Minnesota Supreme Court cleared a father who hit his 12-year-old son on the thighs with a wooden paddle.

Read more at the Daily News.

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