Teen fights AZ law allowing corporal punishment

Posted at 11:35 PM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 02:35:06-04

A Valley teen has taken it upon herself to change a law that allows corporal punishment in schools, after she realized Arizona is one of 19 states that still allows it.

Recently, a video went viral of a 5-year-old boy being paddled at a Georgia school, as he pleaded not to be hit. His mother stood by and recorded the disciplinary action, claiming the principal said her son would be suspended and she would be sent to jail if she didn’t consent.

"I'm not going to lie, I did cry. I was so disgusted,” said Taylor Garman, 14, of Litchfield Park in response to watching the video.

The video recently went viral and has received national attention, but Garman has actually been looking into this issue since last summer. She said she watched a TV show where an episode addressed the topic, and she realized it’s legal in some states.

"And to my disgust, Arizona was one of those 19 states, and I just thought, 'This is so wrong,'” Garman said.

That was when she decided to take action to change the law.

"In January I wrote a letter to a senator and [state] Sen. Don Shooter replied, and he wanted to meet with me in person,” Garman said.

During their meeting, Shooter said he would connect her with a state Representative who may be interested in helping change the law, Garman said.

"It was sickening to watch that [video]--to see, especially two women do it a child," said Kelly Garman, Taylor’s mother.

She said she’s proud of her daughter for being passionate enough to want to change the law.

"To know that I can make a difference in my own world because this is going to be my world when  I'm older, and  I want my world to be a safe place for every child that lives here,” Taylor Garman said.