Joaquin Arambula says they only spank their children as a last resort — maybe once a year.
As the Daily Mail reports, the California Assemblyman representing part of Fresno County was arrested Monday on suspicion of misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child. It all started when the dad-of-three spanked his 7-year-old daughter on Sunday evening.
In an interview with ABC 30 News, Joaquin explained that his daughter had been behaving badly that evening, so he disciplined her:
“We have nights where we get overwhelmed and feel like we have work that we need to do with our kids. That night, was a night where she was acting out.”
He added that he believed, “It’s what parents have to be able to do, to have some ground rules to be good parents.”
As a consequence of his daughter’s behavior, the dad spanked the girl. He later told the Los Angeles Times that he spanked her on the bottom with his hand. A former emergency room doctor, Joaquin didn’t notice any injury to the girl on Sunday night or Monday morning.
However, the next day, his daughter was still upset about it. Elizabeth Arambula, Joaquin’s wife, and the girl’s mother told ABC 30:
“She was angry. She was really angry that he spanked her. She woke up angry, and she went to school angry, and wanted to be heard.”
According to the Fresno Bee, when the girl got to school on Monday, she reported the spanking to her teacher, who passed it on to the administration. When school administrators noticed an injury on the girl, they called Child Protective Services (CPS). Joaquin’s daughter told investigators that her dad had caused the injury.
When Elizabeth arrived to pick the children up from school, she was told that her oldest daughter was at the office and that she couldn’t see her. Joaquin was arrested and both parents questioned by police.
Elizabeth and Joaquin were not able to see their kids for two days, as CPS removed the children from the home and sent them to his parents. The three children (aged 3, 6, and 7) were allowed to return home on Wednesday.
Formal charges have not yet been made against Joaquin, though police say they will turn the case over to the District Attorney next week. Joaquin told the Fresno Bee he’s thankful his daughter’s school, CPS, and the police all did their jobs:
“There’s a process to be played out, and this process played out, and they determined that the kids should go back home. I’m excited about that. But we have a job and a responsibility to continue to be good parents, and that’s what I want to work on and will strive to do.”
Under California law, it is not illegal to spank a child, unless the spanking is excessive or unjustified. Joaquin told the Times:
“I thought the discipline that we did was appropriate. And we have to feel as parents as if there are times we have to help to correct, and sadly we’re at where we are now.”
Joaquin says that CPS suggested the family go to counseling. The agency also plans to follow-up by checking on the children in 30 days. The dad says he welcomes both. He told the Fresno Bee:
“Everyone who knows us in the community and has seen us in the community knows that I’m a loving father. I care about my daughters deeply. And I’m just going through a process and trying the best I can to be a husband and father who’s putting us back together again.”
Joaquin denies that the arrest will affect his political career. He told the LA Times that his priority right now is his family, but, “I believe the community that elected me knows me. They have seen me and my family and my daughters, and they trust and believe that I am a great father.”
Now that their daughter is back home, Joaquin and Elizabeth say they want to take this opportunity to learn how to better talk and connect with their daughter. He told the Fresno Bee:
“Being a parent isn’t easy for anybody. Adding more stress and difficulty on top of it exacerbates the challenge that we have. There’s no manual to being a parent. You do the best you can every single day. And that’s what we do. We’re trying with our kids.”
The Arambula's say that child abuse charges came because their daughter was angry that she was spanked Sunday night.In an interview with Liz Harrison ABC30 Action News, they share what they learned from the experience.Full story: https://abc30.com/arambula-explains-what-led-to-child-abuse-charge/4887623/
Posted by ABC30 Action News on Wednesday, December 12, 2018