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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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My 9 year old son was at a kids night out at a gymnastics

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My 9 year old son was at a kids' night out at a gymnastics facility (paid event) and was punished for breaking a rule (one he was not aware of and in fact, was given permission by another coach to bypass) by having to do 25 pushups. We live in Texas, is this considered corporal punishment? I only signed a waiver that was a four sentence paragraph (also the sign-in sheet) explaining that I gave permission for him to participate in physical activites i.e. jumping on trampolines, foam pits. Are they liable for any of this? My son cried throughout doing the pushups and called me to bring him home 1 1/2 hours early. Thanks so much.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Was there any notice in any literature that the kids could be punished in any way for breaking rules?

If so, was there any notice as to what the punishment might be?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have typed a letter to "whom it may concern" if you have an email address to send it. It's the exact situation. There was no literature, no consent for the consequences they use for breaking rules. The only paper I was required to sign each time was a waiver stating that I give permission for my children to participate and not hold them liable for accidents or injury in their facility. I asked the desk for a copy of anything I might have signed the first time the kids attended and he said there was nothing. Just the sign in paper with the brief waiver that all the parents sign on when they drop off their kids.

DearCustomer- I can only communicate through this website so I can't receive private emails. In any event, the facts you have presented indicated to me that this gym, or whatever it is, has overstepped its authority to control the children. Obviously whenever children are under the control of a third party that party has a right to reasonably control the children and protect all of the group. Schools generally have hand books that describe what consequences will be imposed for breaking the rules but many times private places do not post anything. So beyond restraining a violent child or asking the child to leave the room my opinion is the facility has no authority or right to impose any punishment on a child, whether it be push ups or any other chore or duty. So whoever forced your child to do push ups is, in my mind, guilty of child abuse and I would contact your county child protective services and report this. If the coach did it to your child he's doing it to others and these are the same type of people who have this "control syndrome" that they like to take out on defenseless children. If they told you or I to do push ups they would get nowhere but a 9 year old child is defenseless. Even the police can't force a felon under arrest to do push ups so this guy went way beyond his authority over your child. I would also file a civil suit against the coach and the facility for harassment or child abuse and you may be able to get an attorney to take this on a contingency. Unless you were notified and agree that the coaches were permitted to impose physical punishment on your child they had no right to do so. I am assuming this place was not some type of camp for troubled youth.
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