While the staff and friends of Dixieland School were working this month to put the finishing touches on today’s 100th birthday celebration of one of Madera’s most historic schools, one of its graduates was making the national news.
According to the Associated Press, on Oct. 9, the honorable Conrad L. Rushing, Presiding Justice of the California 6th District Court of Appeals, writing for a unanimous, three-judge panel, ruled that the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services erred when it determined that San Jose mother Veronica Gonzalez committed child abuse when she spanked her 12-year-old daughter with a wooden cooking spoon.
The Social Services finding, which was upheld by a trial court judge, was reversed by the Court of Appeals. Rushing wrote that social workers and the lower court judge failed to consider the family’s entire circumstances.
Gonzalez had testified that other forms of punishment such as groundings and taking away her phone had failed to persuade her 12-year-old daughter to do her schoolwork and avoid gangs. Other family members testified that spankings in the Gonzalez home were rare...