Two judges upheld an opinion by the state Division of Youth and Family Services that the mother, identified only as E.P., was involved in child abuse, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. She could be placed on a register of child abusers.
The woman said she hit her son, then 8 years old, in January 2008 when he responded with a shrug to a question about why he had kicked his 5-year-old sister. The boy's school reported his injuries the next day.
Walter Schreyer, the mother's lawyer, said he and his client are considering asking for a rehearing before the Appellate Division or an appeal to the state Supreme Court. He said Tuesday's ruling "does not make a lot of sense."
"It was just an isolated incident. It wasn't intentional," Schreyer said.
The woman, who was pregnant with her third child at the time, did not lose custody of her son.