Odessa Mother Jailed After Slapping Her Child in the Face

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - An Odessa mother spent a few nights in jail after slapping her daughter. It's an issue that has both sides split. Was it deserved or did a punishment go too far? NewsWest9 explains what happened and what the law says about disciplining your child.

On Sunday, police were called out to a disturbance in Odessa. When officers arrived they found Nahni Guerrero standing over her 12-year-old daughter holding her leg.

According to an affidavit, Guerrero told officers her 12-year-old daughter had "smarted her and cursed her." She then slapped her daughter across the face twice. Officers said the young girl had a bloody nose and redness on her right side of the face. The officer said he was worried about the young girl. So he arrested Guerrero and left the girl with her grandmother.

Now this is an issue that has long been debated. How far is too far when it comes to disciplining your child?

"Parents can use force to discipline their children, they cannot use deadly force," Ector County District Attorney, Bobby Bland, said.

Bland said he couldn't comment on this specific case, but according to law, parents can use force as long as it's justified.

"They're justified in using force with and to the degree they reasonably believe the force is necessary to discipline the child or the safety of the child or promote the child's welfare," Bland said.

NewsWest 9 hit the streets to find out what residents thought about this mother's discipline tactic and it generated mixed reactions.   

"I have four girls and I don't hit them in the face, like in the butt or something," Odessa resident, Rosa Severian, said.

"Maybe in our butt or in our arm or something but not in our face," Odessa resident, Narely Torres, said.

"You should be able to reprimand them and whip them or whatever," Odessa resident, Jo Luceford, said.

"If my kids are acting up public or not, they're going to know it," Odessa resident, David Lyle, said.

Child Protective Services could not confirm or deny if they were investigating this case but they did say the child is not in foster care. Officers say they are still investigating the incident and cannot comment.

NewsWest 9 also went by the house and talked to Guerrero's husband. He is not the father of the child but he did say there might be other factors involved in the case and that he does have a restraining order against her.