Incident in St. Paul: Was It Child Abuse or Discipline?


Columnist Ruben Rosario of the St. Paul Pioneer Press recounts a recent case of apparent child abuse on a city street in which two men called 911 after witnessing a woman striking her young daughter. Police eventually arrived but took no action against the woman. Rosario said she appeared to be in violation of a state law concerning “malicious punishment of a child.”

He writes, “Most of us have witnessed in various degrees scenes like this in our lifetimes. We want to do something. Some of us take action, directly or indirectly. Some of us walk away, thinking it’s none of our business, or, giving the parent the benefit of the doubt, conclude the kid did something to merit punishment. But what these two men saw, if they’re telling it straight, is most definitely a crime in my book.”


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