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Is it legal for parents to spank their children in Virginia?

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  • 2008 United States Spanking allowed in all states; the line between permitted corporal punishment and what is legally defined as abuse varies by state and is not always clear (laws typically allow "reasonable force" and "non-excessive corporal punishment") Virginia Supreme Court: Excessive, unreasonable, or cruel punishment is unlawful. A parent has the right to administer such reasonable and timely punishment as may be necessary to correct faults in children. The right cannot be used as a cloak for the exercise of malevolence or the exhibition of uncontrolled passion on the part of the parent. Punishment must be within the bounds of moderation and reason and for the welfare of child, if due moderation is exceeded then parent is criminally liable. The age, size and conduct of child will be considered as well as the instrument used for punishment and the kind of marks or wounds inflicted on the child's body. Carpenter v. Commonwealth, 44 S.E.2d 419 (Va., 1947)
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