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article imageJudge Sentences Children To Spankings By Parents And One Family Is Fed Up

By Nikki Weingartner     Jun 5, 2008 in Lifestyle
Parental rights are one thing, with every parent unique in their style. But one Texas judge felt differently, allegedly ordering spankings as punishment in his courtroom. The parents of one child who was on the receiving end filed a lawsuit.
Justice of the Peace Gustavo "Gus" Garza, a Cameron County judge in an area located just north of the Texas and Mexico border, is probably no stranger to handing out discipline. But according to a news article, he has been handing out more than what one family deems appropriate.
According to the article, the parents of a 14-year-old girl sent to court for truancy have brought suit against Garza for forcing the teen's step-father, Daniel Zurita, to spank the teen in the courtroom with a paddle that appeared to be cut from a two-by-four piece of lumber.
Garza was alleged to have given the ultimatum of a $500 US dollar fine and find the teen guilty of a criminal offense or administer the spanking right there in the courtroom. Zurita supposedly felt he that he had to repeatedly bust the teen's bottom with the board of justice or else incur the fine and mar the young girl's record with a criminal offence: truancy.
Zurita said of the incident in an affidavit that "I did not feel that I had a choice but carry out the orders of the judge. When I was finished, Judge Garza told me that I had not struck (my stepdaughter) hard enough ..."
Judge Garza refused to comment on Wednesday but was quoted by the article as saying:
"I don't know anything about it," said Garza, noting that he has not seen the lawsuit. He also declined to say whether he's had people spanked in his courtroom.
The family's attorney called the Judge's action "unconscionable", especially to order a step-parent to administer a public beating in a courtroom.
Corporal punishment advocate or not, is it the right of a Judge to order a parent to spank a child in the courtroom as an alternative to a heavy fine and criminal record?
Food for thought on this judicial ruling on the "board of education".
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