“Allegations that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson injured one of his sons by spanking him with a tree branch are reviving a debate about corporal punishment in a country where it is on the decline but still widely practiced in homes and schools,” reports the Associated Press.
In every state in the country, a parent can legally hit their child as long as the force is “reasonable.” What’s considered reasonable varies from place to place and in many instances the question is left up to a jury in a kind of community-standard test. Generally, though, the law draws the line when the force causes an injury. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child defines it as any physical punishment intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.
In Texas, where Vikings Peterson is accused, punishment is abusive if it causes injury. While a blow that causes a red mark that fades in an hour is not likely to be judged abusive, a blow that leaves a bruise, welt, or swelling, or requires medical attention, could be judged abusive.
Today’s Question: How do you feel about corporal punishment?