Florida dad calls cops to watch him spank 12-year-old daughter

Are there times it's ok to paddle your kid? One Florida father seems to have found the answer: as long as the cops are there to witness it.

According to WLXW, a man wanted to paddle his 12-year-old daughter for getting into a 'heated argument' with her sister, so he called the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office and asked them to come over and supervise the punishment. The deputy showed up at the home, witnessed the spanking, and left. The punishment was deemed legal.

"It's within statute for them to discipline their children, and spank them. You are entitled to paddle your child, whether you use you hands, you use a belt, you use a paddle. Within reason. As long as you're paddlin' the buttocks," undersheriff Noel Stephen told WLWT. 

Any doubt in that assessment can be checked against Florida's civil code which states: "Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child." It goes on to say that "the threshold for 'harm' is pretty high: It includes cuts, burns, sprains, hemorrhages, broken bones, and disfigurement, among other things." Noticeably not on the list is a bruised buttcheek. 

Officer Stephen says he has personally overseen about a dozen paddling incidents in the past.

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