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Emotional Maltreatment Statutes Summary

Parent Coach Flyer

Poems Written by
My Son, age 9

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Senate Bill 1280 as amended:

Are parents going to be considered criminals for disciplining their children?

NO!!! Only speech that IS NOT protected by the First Amendment can be considered "criminal speech." Speech that would be subject to penalties includes: speech that incites illegal activity, threats, fighting words, obscenity and child pornography.

Is a parent who loses their temper and says something inappropriate once going to be charged with child abuse?

NO!!! Only a parent who demonstrates a pattern of abusive behavior that inflicts "discernible and substantial impairment in the ability of the child to function within the normal range of performance and behavior."

Who would substantiate the abuse has caused "discernible and substantial impairment..." ?

- licensed physicians
- board certified psychiatrists

These medical experts also MUST have been practicing three years
immediately preceding the date of the abuse.

Can this provision be used against domestic violence victims?

NO!!! This prevents manipulation of domestic violence victims. An abuser cannot claim the victim inflicted mental injury on the child by remaining in the situation or saying something negative about the abuser.


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