RALEIGH, N.C. The state Court of Appeals has ruled that spanking a child isn't child abuse if it doesn't cause serious physical injury.
The decision came in an appeal by a Pender County father who was convicted of abusing his son and neglecting other children. The Court of Appeals reversed the finding by a Pender County District Court judge.
The ruling says that even hitting a child with a belt and causing a bruise isn't child abuse.
In the case, the 13-year-old boy told a social worker he had been abused because his father hit him with a belt and created a bruise.
The court says abuse causes serious physical injury. Cases showing abuse have included parents who pulled out a child's hair, burned them or hit them with their fists, all of which require immediate medical attention.
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