Martinez Signs Corporal Punishment Ban; Vetoes Bill Weakening Penalty For Serving Minors

New Mexico – Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation into law to stop public schools from disciplining students with corporal punishment.

Martinez said Wednesday the decision should be left to parents on whether to paddle or spank their children.

Only 36 of state's 89 school districts allow corporal punishment. Thirty states and the District of Columbia ban corporal punishment in schools, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, a Columbus, Ohio-based group against corporal punishment.

The governor vetoed legislation to lessen the penalty for someone who sells or serves alcoholic beverages to a minor. The measure would have made a first-offense a misdemeanor rather than a fourth-degree felony. Supporters had argued that current penalties are too harsh for a bartender who makes a mistake in serving alcohol to someone under age 21.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.