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Teachers could spank harder under bill pending in KS Legislature

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — A Kansas lawmaker wants to give school teachers and caregivers more power to spank children.

Kansas House member Gail Finney, D-Wichita, said the bill is designed to restore parental rights.

It would expand the current law, which allows spanking without leaving marks. If Finney’s bill passes, it would allow up to 10 strikes of the hand and smacks hard enough to leave redness and bruising.

The proposal has its detractors, who say it is antiquated.

“Twenty, 30 years ago, we didn’t sit in car seats, and we do now. So maybe they did spank or were spanked as a child, but now we have research that shows it is less effective than time out. It tends to lead to more aggressive behavior with a child,” pediatrics nurse Amy Terreros said.She is a child abuse expert at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

McPherson Deputy County Attorney Britt Colle introduced the idea to Finney.

The proposed bill suggests lightening the spanking laws, allowing parents or anyone given permission by a parent, to spank hard enough to leave redness or bruising.

“This bill basically defines a spanking along with necessary reasonable physical restraint that goes with discipline, all of which has always been legal,” Colle said. “This bill clarifies what parents can and cannot do. By defining what is legal, it also defines what is not.”

Colle said the bill makes it clear that hitting a child with fists, hitting a child in the head or body, or hitting a child with a belt or switch is not legal discipline and may be considered battery or abuse.

Deidre Sexton said she would never spank her granddaughter. She enjoys being “Nana” with the responsibilities of a guardian by day.

But Sexton said she has limits with how she disciplines her 2-year-old granddaughter, and she draws the line at spanking.

“Even if the parent tells you. Even if my own children told me you can discipline the grandkids, I wouldn’t do it. I would find other ways of doing it,” Sexton said.

Kansas proponents of the bill say children are losing respect for authority and that parents need to be able to discipline without fear. But 30 other states disagree, and they’ve banned corporal punishment altogether.

The committee chair John Rubin said he isn’t sure if he’s going to even consider the bill.

Finney says if that is the case, she plans on re-introducing a similar proposal again next legislative session.

By Bonyen Lee and Chris Oberholtz

26 comments

    • Rachael

      My husband is a St Louis teacher and he is neither…..he deals with thugs and liars at the high school he worked at, but I’m here to tell you that what those teachers deal with is beyond ridiculous and I am so tired of how people degrade and talk down teachers.

  • meallthetime

    conservatives say Obama is making government to big, however, this proposal is another example of the GOP invading our personal lives as well.
    No form of government should tell parents how to raise their children.

  • Mary Jo Swift Belanger

    Reading this with outrage. As a child advocate, I am furious, we can’t allow this in an “educated” country. What kind of person wants a job where they get to hit kids? I have 2 children and a grandchild, have worked in early childhood education for 30 years and this is scary and incredibly ignorant. Shame on Kansas if they allow it.

    • no name

      I am pretty sure the article says it clear . The bill is trying to give parents back some of the parental rights.

  • Denise McKenzie

    Kids need their behinds whooped! Do you not see the disrespect they have these days? We let our kids go unpunished and what’s the hope for the future? Generations of disrespectful idiots!

  • 10-98 lady

    I think parents have the right to spank their child. Should not hit o hrd as to leave marks.
    I do not think care givers or teachers should spank children. I attended a private school and the way the teachers mentally abused me was worse then getting a spanking. If a nun didn’t like you she made your life hell on earth. What can be done about that abuse?

  • loria

    my children are grown now i have 2 adult males ..im not going to say that i never spanked my sons because i did but, noone else did. the parent should be the sole disaplanaring. not the schools and most certainingly not the state or goverment.

  • Ann

    I thought it was odd coming from a Democrat then I looked her up and found she was black. The black community’s acceptance of abuse comes from slavery. She should be ending this cycle instead of encouraging it.

  • mary

    there are better ways of punishment like taking things away and grounding, violence isn’t the answer and it sure as hell doesn’t set a very good example, allowing people to hit children will only teach us that it’s alright to hit someone just because you don’t like there actions. I believe this law would only make for more child abuse as bruises would go unnoticed bruises are internal bleeding and you think it’s okay to allow that, youll allow teachers to hit children but when people fight or hit eacher you know there going to be arrested for assault if you do that shit to an adult so why should it be okay to do to a child were not stupid and we deserve some respect to thats why alot kids get disrespectful because people disregard how they feel or what they say because they’r kidds and i think this could cause alot of problems i have heard alot of my own peers including myself say if a teacher ever lays a hand on I AM going to fight you because i have some self respect and i won’t let you treat me like shit. Children are people to we want to be heard and respected not treated like were not as important simply because were younger than you.

  • Nayr

    And people always wonder why their children turn out to be criminals and curse at their parents and have no respect for their elders because you don’t discipline your children you hand them everything without making them work for a thing the reason society is as horrible as it is people no longer teach or instill the values of their fathers before them into their children get off you cellphones and your television and sit down eat dinner with your family and recognize what it actually means to be family

    • Bobino

      That is correct Nayr. If you let a Child grow up without discipline , how are they supposed to know right from wrong ? If people think that what we have been doing is working, then I say you need to stop and look around. Our Children are growing up to be a bunch of whiners . When they get out of school they don’t have any idea how to act in the real world, no one has ever disciplined them. Just me ,me, me, and want everything given to them without earning it. If you don’t want your Child disciplined at school , then do your job at home and they won’t need much at school. Look around people , these kids can’t even dress themselves respectfully.

  • charben47

    I don’t think the government has any right to tell you how to spank your own children or how many times you can spank them with your hand. The government should protect children from child abuse though.
    Years ago, we got spankings from our parents when we did something wrong and or behaved badly, and no one called child services. Guess what, we learned that we had better behave and respect our parents, teachers and those in authority over us because if we didn’t learn, we knew we could expect another spanking from our parents. We all lived to tell about it and many of us admit that we deserved the spankings we did get. Plus, if we got in trouble at school, we knew we would be in trouble with our parents at home too. They followed through and punished us when we got home from school as well. Parents listened to and backed up the teachers and school administrators then.
    Teachers are there to teach your child book lessons, they’re not there to be your child’s parent, or babysitter. If parents did their job and assumed the responsibility of raising their child at home, correctly, there would be no need for corporal punishment in schools.

  • Chris Davis

    My kids are my kids and nobody is spankin anyone in my household! PERIOD!!!
    My job as a father is to discipline MY KIDS NOT TEACHERS YOUR JOB IS TO TEACH! The govt is just finding ways to prison us all so people with common sense and family morals get ya self protected and involved cuz I dont care if you are not ME OR MY WIFE…… I WARN YOU DO NOT TOUCH MY KIDS!!

    • marc kase

      “To prison us all”…..LOL, what does that mean, please explain, or is this typical “Kansan talk”? I don’t blame you for being mad, spank my dog and I’ll “Give you the Dickins” since I don’t have any brats/children.

  • marc kase

    She looks kinky, I’ll bet she spanks her husband with a whip and a french maids uniform on with thigh high silk stockings….lol, but seriously lady! introducing a bill like this will make you look like some very weird person and you are a Democrat no less. Check out The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Feb 20th show, it’s damned funny regarding this very laughable story.

  • Daniel Wagner

    I noticed a comment in another article where Gail Finney says, “It could be a small amount of a bruise (and) a parent could still be charged with child abuse when it wasn’t anything serious” Can you imagine making these justifications for a husband hitting his wife or ANY other relationship that people have with one another? I have a great article at http://www.parentofprogress.com/spanking_children that deals with this exact issue.

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