Spank or pay up, judge says

2009-04-02 09:46
Brownsville, Texas - A justice of the peace who gave parents of school-dodging kids the option of paddling their children in court or paying a fine has received a warning from the state panel that oversees judicial conduct.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct rebuked Gustavo Garza for violations of judicial conduct that included the option of spankings instead of $500 fines. The commission found that Garza exceeded his authority by providing a "safe haven" for corporal punishment.

"Judge Garza routinely facilitated and permitted the paddling of juveniles in his courtroom thereby clothing the practice with an improper judicial blessing," the commission wrote in its March 9 public warning.

The warning was not accompanied by any fine or discipline.

If Garza continued the practice, he could receive discipline or the commission could ask the state Supreme Court to suspend him from office.

Garza, of the southern Texas town of Los Fresnos, said he believed the positive result of reduced truancy cases in the school district outweighed any harm from the spankings, The Brownsville Herald reported on Wednesday.

"I understand their (the commission's) function and they performed their function as best they thought they could," Garza said. "I respect them. I performed (my function) as best as I thought I could."

The commission's investigation included an incident in which a man reluctantly paddled his 14-year-old stepdaughter because he could not afford the $500 fine.

Garza criticised him for paddling softly with the large plank that court staff referred to records as the BOE, or Board of Education.

The commission found, that among other violations, Garza did not ask parents if they could pay the fine or offer alternatives such as a payment plan or community service.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be hard to be light and jovial at the moment as the list of obligations and jobs are growing and your energy levels are...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.