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Congratulations, parents! You can now spank your kids without it counting as abuse in New York.
The state Appellate Division ruled today in the case of Long Island dad that spanked his 8-year-old son, deciding that it “was a reasonable use of force.”
Today’s decision overturned one made by a Suffolk County Family Court judge last year, stating that the father had gone to far when he swatted his son with an open hand for swearing at a family friend’s party in 2012. When they got home, the father supposedly pulled out a belt and administered an old-fashioned whooping!
The action was found to be abuse because the judge believed that the dad inflicted “excessive corporal punishment” on the boy.
Judges at the appellate court ruled, though, that the punishment fit the crime.
“The father’s open-handed spanking of the child as a form of discipline after he heard the child curse at an adult was a reasonable use of force,” the panel explained in its decision, “and, under the circumstances presented here, did not constitute excessive corporal punishment.”
A similar cases have been tried in California, where a mother popped her 12-year-old daughter on the behind for cutting out of line. A judge ruled that the action should not result in the mother being labeled as an abusive parent.