Pacific Justice Institute
Justice Institute firmly believes that the state should not
infringe on Parents rights to reasonable use of corporal punishment.
The law has long recognized and respected the rights and duties
of parents in the raising of children. The Supreme Court has been
consistent in recognizing the importance of respecting Parents
authority in the raising of their children. Ginsberg v. New York,
390 U.S. 629, 639 (1968). Furthermore, the United States Supreme
Court has stated, "It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and
nurture of the child reside first with the parents, whose primary
function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state
can neither supply nor hinder." Prince v. Massachusetts, 321
U.S. 158, 166 (1944).
A corollary to this fundamental principle is that parents have
broad discretion in the disciplining of their children and are
allowed to use corporal punishment. Under California state law, a
parent has the right to reasonably discipline a child by physical
punishment and may administer reasonable punishment without being
liable for battery. People v. Whitehurst, 9 Cal.App.4th 1045,
1050 (1992). In order to be considered disciplinary the punishment
must be necessary (i.e. there must be behavior by the child
deserving punishment), and the punishment must be reasonable (i.e
not excessive). Id. It is important to remember that the
reasonableness of the punishment will be judged by a [most likely
anti-Christian] third party and it does not matter if the
parent believes the punishment was reasonable.
The factors usually taken into consideration [by the
godless State] to determine whether a punishment is excessive are:
In addition, section 273d of the California Penal Code prohibits
willful infliction of a traumatic condition by cruel or inhuman
corporal punishment. "Traumatic condition" is defined as "a wound or
abnormal bodily condition resulting from the application of some
external force." People v. Stewart, 188 C.A.2d 88, 91 (1961).
The law appears more concerned with the reasonableness of the
punishment under the circumstances, and whether the child is
physically injured, than with what is used to spank a child. The
likelihood of injury (traumatic condition) is not automatically
determined by whether an empty hand or an object is used to spanking
a child. A fist can be used to inflict a "traumatic condition"
if the blow results in a swollen eye, a cut and swollen lip on a
child. See People v. Thomas, 65 C.A.3d 854 (1977).
Finally, although spanking a child in public may result in
complaints being filed with Child Protective Services by third
parties, there is no state law prohibiting spanking in public.
If you know of someone in need of legal defense, or if you are
interested in becoming a crucial part of our PACIFIC JUSTICE team,
please call us at (916) 857-6900.