Fairlie August 2, Most Americans believe spanking has its place. But what are the laws surrounding this issue? Generally, when you strike another you can be liable for assault and battery among other offenses. However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule.
This kind of discipline is generally viewed by law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and the courts as a parental prerogative and not as criminal child abuse. Yet there are limits on the degree of physical force that a parent may lawfully employ and the degree of injury a parent may lawfully inflict. A parent who acts with malice, uses grossly inappropriate force or who causes lasting injury may be prosecuted for child abuse. A recent court of appeals case demarcates the boundaries of permissible parental discipline and sets forth standards for determining when physical discipline by parents constitutes criminal child abuse.
Paddling has also been used in some homes to punish children and teenagers. Some paddles have traditionally had holes bored in them for aerodynamic effect,  but many schools nowadays prohibit the use of such paddles. There have been cases in the past when paddling was administered incorrectly or excessively. Partly in order to avoid this danger, in the majority of U. Currently, there is often a maximum of three swats or "licks" or "pops".
It is prohibited at Head Start programs and in most juvenile detention facilities , too. But in many states, there is one place where it is permissible to hit, spank or slap: school. Although that number has declined over the years, researchers have found that black students, boys and disabled students continue to be physically punished at a greater rate than their classmates. Here are five things to know about the practice and why it endures.