Lufkin child advocate says spanking is not good discipline

David McConnell (Source: Angelina County Jail)
David McConnell (Source: Angelina County Jail)

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - A Huntington man turned himself in Wednesday after police filed charges on him following an investigation into alleged excessive spanking of his five-year-old daughter in February.

Chief Bobby Epperly Jr. said charges were filed on David John McConnell, 43, after police consulted with the district attorney's office. He is charged with injury to a child.

According to Epperly, police were called to Huntington ISD on Feb. 26 in reference to a child-abuse case. He said the five-year-old girl had severe bruising on her buttocks and legs.

Epperly said police interviewed McConnell, who said he had spanked her with the back of a wooden shower brush.

"It was obvious he had spanked her more than that," Epperly said.

Police obtained a warrant for McConnell's arrest on Monday. McConnell met Epperly at the Angelina County Jail on Tuesday, where he was booked in on the charge. He posted a $5,000 bail.

Child Advocates believe that there are better ways to discipline a child.

"There are so many choices, we can use the tone of our voice. We can use the expression on our face because at least 70 percent of communication is non verbal. It is our expressions and emotions in what we do. If we can choose a way that is healthy for the child that doesn't cause them pain and anger and makes it more difficult to communicate, that's just the healthier way to communicate," said Harold's House's Ashley Cook.

Cook is a parent herself and feels other ways of discipline can come across better.

"I just think that there are a lot of ways to get their attention. You know our teachers at school accomplish that every day and don't spank their children," said Cook.

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