Texas woman sentenced to five years probation for spanking her child

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 06/18/2011 ( 121 moms have responded )

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June 18, 2011 (CBS) -  A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas had some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child before sentencing her to probation.

“You don’t spank children today,” said Judge Jose Longoria. “In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.”



Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” They noted she didn’t use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.

As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she’ll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

She was arrested back in December after the child’s paternal grandmother noticed red marks on the child’s rear end. The grandmother took the girl, who was two years-old at the time, to the hospital to be checked out.

Gonzales who doesn’t have custody of the child or her other two children, is trying to get them back, but until CPS feels she is ready the kids are living with their paternal grandmother.

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Sara - posted on 06/20/2011

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Child abuse is not a bad habit...I really don't understand the point you're trying to make Nichole. Your rights end when you start to infringe on the rights of others. Murder, pollution, abuse...there are laws against them because they directly impact the rights of another. How is that unfair?

Amie - posted on 06/20/2011

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So you learned how to respect others? Just not your children? What can a child - No what can ANY person ever do that gives ANY person the right to hit them? Nothing. It is that simple.

You can not teach a true positive lesson by using a negative action.

[deleted account]

Hey, Nikki......psssst! It's a debate! FFS. And another fact......I know plenty of used-to-be-spankers that have changed their ways. You'd be surprised.

Amie - posted on 06/20/2011

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I can't believe some of the things I've read here. =/ I don't spank my children, I refuse too. I was spanked as a child - it didn't teach me anything. I have never met a child who was spanked that actually remembers the lesson behind the spank. I have seen some online who say they do but I find it hard to believe.



When you hit your child, they're not going to listen to you. They are going to be upset, probably crying. Once they do calm down, they still won't listen to you - they will still be mad at you for even hitting them in the first place. Ask most children in positive discipline homes and they can tell you what's wrong and why they shouldn't do something. Ask a child is a spanked home - most will say because I'll get hit. =/ I remember saying those same words. I remember being scared and hiding certain behaviors from my parents because I knew they would get my parents (my mom especially) so upset she would spank.



Having said all that, I was spanked maybe 10 times in my entire life. I still learned fear instead of lessons.



If a parent ever leaves a mark on their child, they deserve to lose them. If a person ever leaves a mark on their partner, they can be jailed. So why not a parent hitting a small child with absolutely NO defenses? Really? Does no one think of this?



It's not about YOUR rights as a parent. It's about the child's rights to live in a home free from abuse of any kind. Leaving marks IS abuse. I can turn the other cheek (in most cases) when people choose to spank. If marks or left or if it's obviously over the top - I will be that psycho mom who would step into you and tell you to keep your hands off your damn child. I feel that strongly on the subject.



And yes, most cases of a first time offense children will not be removed. Children's services DO like to keep families together if they deem it safe and reasonable to do so. If it's not, well things like this happen. The ones who cry foul are not always a foul. People just like to say so because then they don't look like the bad parents they really are.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/21/2011

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I skipped ahead after reading a couple of pages so I hope I'm not being redundant. I don't spank and wish I could convince those that do to try it my way. That said, red marks from spanking do not indicate injury to tissue. A strong slap or repeated light ones cause a nervous reflex which causes the blood vessels in the area to dilate which sends more blood to the area which causes redness in the same way as an embarrassed blush. This effect will go away within an hour often times a few minutes.

The red marks on the child in the story obviously did not go away during that time. (It took time for Gma to notice it, then she had to go to the hospital, then there is the wait until the doctor actually sees you) This would have indicated inflammation. Inflammation IS tissue damage. If it was caused by the spank, then it seems to me that a blow (not meant as a judgemental word for spankers) was too forceful and that it was not actually a spank, but a hit and I feel that the court should not have belittled what she did by giving it the term spank. She crossed a line. Hitting a two year old is reprehensible. CPS should be involved. I too believe that there is more to the story. There must be some reason for CPS to believe that there is a risk for her to continue to use too much force.

As to bruising, I have dozens of bruises from unknown sources right now. Bruises don't always indicate tissue damage so some kids that are spanked may bruise.

I hope to have the opportunity to present my non spanking case to some of you ladies another time, but I tried to keep to the original issue.

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Mechelle - posted on 06/25/2011

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I think that we should know more about the case... Was it red marks or bruises and how long were the red marks there?

Spanking is a big debate these days and I have to say, I am for it. I spank my child when needed. My child, like many other children, bruises easily and sometimes there is a little red mark. This DOES NOT mean that I abuse my child. However, if my child runs out into the street or is about to do something that will seriously hurt herself (being the genius she is and figuring out how to take the very complicated outlet cover out and playing in it) or others then she gets spanked.

The way I see it, Back when our parents and their parents were growing up, they got spanked at home and at school. They didn't have even half of the problems we have today. Kids are out of control in today's world. They have no respect, no discipline, no cares.

I could go on forever about this, but the point I am trying to get to is that there is a HUGE difference between spanking and abuse. It is not abuse to spank once in awhile, it is called parenting. Abuse to me means hitting your child harder than a spank, leaving bruises (not red marks) and hitting for no reason, and as parents we should NEVER hit our kids in the face.

Anyways, if the child only had red marks for a short period of time, than the court seriously needs to get something better to do. and as for the grandmother, it was nice that she was worried, but she could have asked the mother, unless the mother had prior history of child abuse.

Suzie - posted on 06/25/2011

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so after looking up the case she lost her children because of this as she pled guilty to abuse charges so she did not defend herself at a so i belive that this was not a simple spanking case as we are made to belive by this article.

[deleted account]

EXACTLY, Jodi. Everyone's line is different, and that is becoming more and more evident the more I read these types of threads.

And I also agree, and think I mentioned way back in the beginning of this thread about the way the law was written in Texas. It's very subjective and it was totally up the judges discretion.

I also AGREE that banning it altogether eliminates any confusion. Perfect. Problem solved. Oh, wait.....except for those pesky pro-spankers who will do everything in their power to fight for their right to spank. ;)

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2011

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""When you beat a child with a belt where it leaves welts across that child's back, or other parts of their body for days or weeks, you've crossed the line. And you are going to get into trouble for that."



So it is only considered abuse if you use a belt an it leaves WELTS that last for a day or more? Jesus.......



And this is EXACTLY why at the absolute minimum, use of ANY type of implement should be absolutely, irrevocably banned.



But I also have a problem with the term "reasonably" or "reasonable force". It is WAY too subjective. My 'line" may not be the same as someone else's 'line, so whose definition of "reasonable force" do you apply? Banning it altogether removes the ambiguity.

Vera - posted on 06/23/2011

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I know I can't believe a brush is ok but a flipflop(shoe) isn't? Wow what is this world coming to. I guess a woden brush similar to a paddle is what they mean? Who buys those these days just in case your child needs a spanking.. (rolling my eyes!)

Dana - posted on 06/23/2011

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Hell, even a hairbrush is extreme. Any object to hit your child with is crazy.

I can't wait for the day that it's rare for anyone to hit their kid. People will look back and think, "Can you believe they hit their kids all the time..."

Esther - posted on 06/23/2011

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Wow - a belt is not considered abusive? Glad I don't live in Texas.

Vera - posted on 06/23/2011

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You can legally spank a child here in the state of TX. I am with those of you saying there is more to the story than what we are reading. I personally don't spank (it makes me sick thinking of hurting my child on purpose) but there is a limit to the corporal punishment and I believe some people cross that fine line into abuse, and it happens on a daily basis!! I believe if there were marks for a few days that she may have crossed the line.

My daughter and I both bruise easily and mark easily – we have sensitive skin… I’ll come home with bruises the size of softballs and never know how it happened. It’s a sad day when you have to worry if you’ll be locked up because your child fell and some idiot reported you for beating your child when you never did! The government is getting too far into our personal/home lives and this is only getting worse.

I think the Judge misspoke when he said we don’t spank these days… it isn’t true! Especially since it is legal here in Texas. I found this while reading up on arrests due to punishing children in Texas… I believe it is a different person in trouble but none the less it goes over the laws here…. http://www.woai.com/content/troubleshoot...

We put that question to Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg. "The law allows you to spank your child. You are allowed to impose reasonable, physical discipline on your child."

So how does a parent know what is "reasonable?" The law doesn't say specifically, but we did find these guidelines from the Attorney General's office.

Don't hit a child in anger. Abuse is most likely to occur when the parent is out of control. The A.G.'s office also says striking a child above the waist is more likely to be considered abusive, since disciplinary spanking is usually confined to the buttocks area. And the most obvious guideline: Punishment is abusive if it causes injury.

"Spanking a child on the butt is not generally going to be seen as child abuse," adds Herberg. "When you beat a child with a belt where it leaves welts across that child's back, or other parts of their body for days or weeks, you've crossed the line. And you are going to get into trouble for that."

The red marks above her son's waist are probably what led to Shanna Hartman's arrest, although she denies causing them.

Finally, the A.G.'s office says an open hand, belts and hair brushes are not likely to be considered abusive when used for spanking. But things like electrical cords, boards, sticks, ropes or shoes are likely to be.

If you are a parent who uses time-out instead of spanking, that could also be considered abuse if it involves locking a child in or out, depriving them of food, or restraining them in some way.

If you want to report suspected child abuse you can call the Child Protective Services hotline at 1-800-252-5400. Parents who need someone to talk to about how to discipline their children, can call the Center for Health Care Services at 223-7233. They're available 24 hours a day.

Jodi - posted on 06/21/2011

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I think perhaps it was in the interpretation. I read one line in an article that could have been read one of two ways. On way was that she didn't have custody of them at the time of the offence. The other was that she didn't have custody of them at the time of the article. Personally I found it a bit ambiguous.

Dana - posted on 06/21/2011

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I had googled it and read all I could find, I never saw this aspect though. I did see that the grandmother had custody of her other kids too but, it seemed that was a result of this issue, not a previous one.

Nikki - posted on 06/21/2011

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I am interested too Dana. The article here was missing a lot of info, I would really like to see another reporter's POV

Dana - posted on 06/21/2011

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Where did you see this part of the story at, Tara? That surely changes things.

Tara - posted on 06/21/2011

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@Johnny and Becky,

This child wasn't removed from her mothers custody, she wasn't in her mothers custody. Her Grm has custody, the child was visiting with the mother when the slap took place.

So if the kid was already living with gramma, there is likely a reason for it. And if she was given 5 yrs probation, there is more to it than we are seeing.

But just to clarify the kid was not removed. The mother has been trying to get the 2 year old and her other two children back from the gramma but until CPS feels she is capable they live with gramma.

so.. yea there must be more to this story.

Becky - posted on 06/20/2011

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I agree with Johnny. My biggest question is, how long after the spanking did the grandmother see the marks? Was it 5 minutes afterwards, or 2 days afterwards? A child may mark easily and may well have reddened skin 5 minutes after a spanking - although I still think that means the spanking was too hard, it is in no way the same as the skin still being red 2 days later. I am inclined to believe that the judge had information that we do not and that he made his decision based on that information. If it was a one-time thing, grandma was there and witnessed the spanking and saw the red marks immediately afterwards, then yeah, the punishment was definitely overboard. But I'm inclined to think there is more to it than that.
Here in Canada, if it left marks, it would fall under the definition of abuse. Even then, the child wouldn't necessarily be removed if there was no history of concerns, depending on the severity of the marks. It doesn't appear that it necessarily does under Texas law though, so I have to believe that the injuries were pretty significant.

Johnny - posted on 06/20/2011

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I hope that there is more to this story. I used to work in child protection and this does not seem like the kind of case that warrants removal. I do not believe in spanking and I agree with the judge that it is a relic from the past. However, I think that parents can be taught better methods in parenting courses and the like. I just given the facts presented here, I'm not sure I can see that it would be all that beneficial for the children to be removed. When I hear about a mom being accused of something by the MIL, I'm also a bit suspicious.

Amie - posted on 06/20/2011

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I know of a few places in Saskatchewan (province I am in) that do not sell alcohol or cigarettes. They refuse too, it's their right. However, their right to say "we won't sell this" does not supersede the rights of those who wish to partake. So the ones who want too, have to take a jaunt down the road to the next town over (usually 15-20 min.) and pick some up to take home.



There is a difference between a place being dry and it being illegal altogether.



That is neither here nor there though. We should go back to the OP. lol Another debate can be started about this if someone wishes.

Jodi - posted on 06/20/2011

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But Nichole, is it illegal to DRINK in those counties? You say you can't purchase it, but that is not the same as it being illegal to drink it.



And to be honest, I still fail to see the relevance.

Lindsy - posted on 06/20/2011

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Need more info before I can make an informed argument for or against it.
Clearly there is more to the story b/c it stated at the end that she doesn't have custody of any of her 3 children.
However on the Judges comment on the fact that "in the old days we got spanked"but, "you don't spank children today".Now that is BS.

Jodi - posted on 06/20/2011

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Actually, to be fair, there are towns/regions in Australia where alcohol is illegal. You can't buy it and you can't even take it in there. Not even into a private home. But I think these ARE extreme cases. And it really is irrelevant to the debate.

Amber - posted on 06/20/2011

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I'm getting to the debate late...(still remodeling and absolutely hating the amount of time it takes).

I'm just waiting for the other shoe to fall...because there has got to be more to this story.

But, I'd just like to point out that if you live in a place where the laws aren't to your satisfaction, you have the right to move to a different place where they are :)

Esther - posted on 06/20/2011

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I've only heard of cities that are "dry" on Sundays, not 24/7 but maybe I missed a new trend. It's been known to happen. Either way, as Dana said, I'm pretty sure you can still do whatever you want in non-public spaces as long as you don't harm others in the process.

Dana - posted on 06/20/2011

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I'm not deliberately messing with you. It is not illegal to smoke in some cities. I would like to see what cities you are talking about if you believe that it is banned. Yes, it may be banned in public places but, you are still allowed to smoke.
And yes, there are some (rare) places that DON'T sell alcohol but, it is still not illegal.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/20/2011

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You are deliberately messing with me Dana S. I'm done. Because I bet more than anything you are aware that some cities banned smoking altogether and some towns are dry - no drinking either. And well, if you don't know that, I mentioned it earlier. There's always an internet full of research to look up this stuff with too. Thanks

Suzie - posted on 06/20/2011

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Thank God i live in Montana were you can discipline a child there is a line however and spanking dose not cross that line when it is used properly truly i would love to find out the rest of the story as it is not all here so there for how can you analise the story

Dana - posted on 06/20/2011

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As far as I'm aware, it's not illegal to smoke or drink...so what are you going on about?

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/20/2011

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Well I would point out the FDA's statement a few months ago that said you have no right to bodily and physical health. Therefore, it should be just as fair to NOT take away a persons right to do something like smoke because our own government deemed you don't have a right. So basically it's just a bunch of jumbled whatevers until a mass of people decide what should / shouldn't be legal. Like smoking. Drinking laws. And well the one I like - speaker boxes not being bolted down becoming a felony.



http://www.thecompletepatient.com/storag...

Tara - posted on 06/20/2011

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****Mod Warning****

As we recently posted a reminder to everyone about flaming etc. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone again that this is a debate, please leave personal comments/attacks about other members etc. out of the debate.
I have read through 3 pages of this and don't really have the time to delete each post, so I will warn everyone now:
Keep it civil ladies.
Thank you and have a good evening everyone.
:)

Shannintipton - posted on 06/20/2011

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Sorry, I was lurking and got called on the phone. I didn't want to miss anything. sorry just cruzin' thru

Esther - posted on 06/20/2011

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I think we must have all been posting at the same time. And yes, as Dana said - smoking is a habit that infringes on everyone. Children's rights aren't the only rights worth protecting.

Sara - posted on 06/20/2011

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Just asking for clarification...I don't think I'm the only one your points are lost on here.

And in response to the smoking, why do you assume that smoking where ever you want when ever you want is your right? Did I miss that week in civics class?

[deleted account]

Second hand smoking INFRINGES on EVERYONE elses rights. How do you not understand. It's not about your right to smoke. It's about MY right to not have to breath in your nasty ass second hand smoke. ESPECIALLY when it comes to innocent children who can't speak up for themselves. Gah

Esther - posted on 06/20/2011

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Sara already said it for me. Your rights end where other people's rights begin. Feel free to get drunk for example, but don't get in a car when you have. Feel free to punch a wall, but steer clear of your kids. Feel free to smoke yourself into an early grave, just don't take others with you. BTW - I work in NYC and Bloomberg enacted a city wide ban on smoking several years ago. Everyone was all aflutter over it and theories abounded about how this was going to ruin everything for bars in the city. Well guess what, nothing's changed. Except probably people's health. And Newark hasn't become the new hot spot in the tri-state area because people just cannot have fun without a cigarette in their mouth.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/20/2011

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Smoking in a city is not child abuse. Smoking is a 'bad habit' that's why I'm using other 'bad habits' sorry I lost you there

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/20/2011

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Where does it end though, Esther? What bad habits are we all not going to be allowed to do around our kids? Vitamin pills? Which pills are acceptable? By whom? Should we let people get fat around their kids? That's a bad habit. Biting nails? Fast food? Are we going to ban people from taking their kids there, now that we are banning happy meal toys? Shouldn't we just ban fast food geared towards kids? We'd have to ban energy drinks, because that's bad. Ban grape juice from kids, just in case they are diabetic? The big car you drive your kids around in, that's bad. No more SUV's. Might want to ban knives from all parents houses incase a kid brings one to school. Where does it end? Smoking is just the stepping stone. You wait. To go as far as to ban smoking in whole cities is ridiculous. It's only going to get worse

Dana - posted on 06/20/2011

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Sherri, I don't even ever debate you, so your accusation that I'm always looking to knock someone is what is amazing and truly false.



I made a generalized statement, if you want to apply that to yourself and feel that you need to justify your son or your actions then have at it but, leave your underhanded comments on the wayside.

Sara - posted on 06/20/2011

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I know no one who spanks who has ever left a mark on their child....if you're hitting them that hard, I think you may need to rethink your parenting methods.



And honestly, there may be info missing from the OP, but as someone who worked in social services for many years -- directly with people who had their children removed -- I never saw a child removed simply because they were spanked. So, from my experience, I would assume that the woman that this OP is about had a history with CPS in Texas as well as evidence that against her that proved she had gone beyond "spanking" and into the abuse territory. Which is precisely why I chose not to spank, because for me striking my child out of anger -- ever -- is unacceptable and can happen so easily.

Sherri - posted on 06/20/2011

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You know what Dana S. I didn't just randomly make it up. He actually has it documented in his medical records. Because when the doctors would hold onto his arms he would instantly mark and they were freaking everytime. So they have notes in his chart.

I LOVE that you basically just accused me of lying for saying such a thing. Just curious how do you propose I prove it to you, so that in your eyes I am not a liar??? You are amazing to me always looking to knock someone else, it never ceases to amaze me, Before you even go there nope not taking anything personally just find you amazing.

Esther - posted on 06/20/2011

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"Never said I did or was. This had nothing to do with me, was just saying that it isn't against the law everywhere as you insinuated."

I insinuated no such thing. I responded directly to Nichole's assertion that she cannot smoke in the car (which therefore I presume to the law in her state) by saying she CAN, as long as the kids are not there.

I also never said that you smoke around your kids. I just find it wrong that you apparently think you ought to have the right to.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/20/2011

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I am surprised.



I knew this would happen. It's such a lame article too. All this over a story that lacks information! Facts! The only thing close to reliable speculation on Texas's laws being lax and she was charged with a felony so those things give this story a tiny bit more merit for a formal debate. Not much though



But look what it's turned into... another standard spanking debate. Why is it such a hot topic right now? I'm curious

Nikki - posted on 06/20/2011

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Absolutely not, buit with all the missing info, this became a debate on spanking, not child abuse. Abuse of anyone is wrong. I just don't think you can equate using spanking as a form of discipline can be equated with beating yourchild out of anger. All correction should be done calmly ad with understanding, whether it is spanking, time out, redirection, whatever.

Dana - posted on 06/20/2011

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I find it funny that every parent who spanks, their child just has this miraculously delicate skin that reddens at the slightest bump.

Dana - posted on 06/20/2011

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Exactly Sara, while I don't spank my child, I don't think children should be taken away for spanking either. BUT, if it crosses the line into abuse, where there are marks left then yes, it should be investigated. Which is what's being done. It's not as if she can't ever have her kids back, FFS

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