February 19th, 2014
09:50 AM ET
7 months ago

Spanking bill in Kansas sparks controversy

(CNN) - A Kansas state lawmaker says a bill she's introduced that would give school teachers and caregivers expanded rights to spank children is not "intended to legalize child abuse."

Democratic state representative Gail Finney of Wichita put out a statement Tuesday after media stories about her legislation, which would expand on current Kansas law by allowing teachers and caregivers to spank children up to 10 times, possibly causing redness and bruising.

The legislation specifically would allow for spankings "up to ten forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-hand palm against the clothed buttocks of a child and any such reasonable physical force on the child as may be necessary to hold, restrain or control the child in the course of maintaining authority over the child, acknowledging that redness or bruising may occur on the tender skin of a child as a result."

In her statement, Finney said that "Parental corporal discipline in Kansas, along with 49 other states, has always been permitted. Unfortunately, Kansas has never affirmatively, expressly defined corporal discipline in Kansas statute, leaving the interpretation of that matter to administrative officials in the executive branch, law enforcement personnel, and the judicial branch."

Finney went on to write that her bill "is intended to (i) provide guidance to state officials in the administrative and judicial branches; (ii) serve as a guideline to parents; and (iii) protect Kansas children from abuse."

Some in Kansas are voicing opposition to the bill.

"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," pediatric nurse practitioner Amy Terreros, a child abuse expert at Children's Mercy Hospital, told CNN affiliate KCTV in Kansas City, Missouri.

Rep. John Rubin, chairman of the Kansas House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, said he isn't sure the committee will consider the bill, according to KCTV.


Filed under: Kansas
soundoff (547 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    I wonder if Vitter objected to being spanked.

    February 19, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. rs

    The Right is completely insane. "Get government out of our lives" they scream. Then they go about passing laws legislating things that are none of their business, cannot be defended on any grounds, and is sure to wind up in court- wasting taxpayer dollars. Really? Legislating child punishment? Gee, what could go wrong?

    Why is this law even being considered? Is this the most pressing problem in Kansas today? Or, have they just run out of fresh ideas for laws to curtail voters' rights, or subjugate women to their libidos?

    February 19, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Sniffit

    Spanking children in school + gun-fetish regulatory negligence = profit?

    February 19, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Wake up People!

    Where is your proof that spanking is less effective? Nothing but lies. When parents were allowed to spank children they were far less disrespectful, they understood there were boundaries and consequences to their actions. Compare that to children of today. They're hitting their parents, they have zero respect for elders and many are killing their parents. I think it's time the government mind their own business. If I pop one of my granddaughters on her butt once for running in the street, she'll think twice before doing it the next time. And no I don't condone beating, but a spanking is not the same.

    February 19, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. salty dog

    Whatever the rich want, no matter how ridiculous I guess. What year is it anyway. Have we not evolved past this, and as usual, its to protect your child. Does anyone else tire of the insults they attach when naming their proposals? Citizens united, right to work, ...sigh...

    February 19, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. croaton999

    What a bone headed idea.

    February 19, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. rs

    "up to ten forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-hand palm against the clothed buttocks of a child and any such reasonable physical force on the child as may be necessary to hold, restrain or control the child in the course of maintaining authority over the child, acknowledging that redness or bruising may occur on the tender skin of a child as a result."
    ____________________________________________
    GOP lawmaking at it's finest! The only question I have is whether or not this originated in ALEC, or did these rubes actually spend taxpayers' time and money to come up with this themselves?
    The GOP is filled with deeply sick people!

    February 19, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Some in Kansas are voicing opposition to the bill."

    Oh, indeed. I can't imagine many parents allowing school personnel to "spank" their children in as public a forum as a school room.

    February 19, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    I'd be all for it if they included granting the Sergeant-At-Arms for the state legislature authority to spank politicians.

    February 19, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Wake up People!

    Hi rs, isn't this a democratic bill?

    February 19, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. rs

    Perhaps the Kansas GOP should pass a law making it legal to carry kids in animal crates on the top of moving vehicles. No need for child car seats, children are "protected" from those nasty government-imposed seat belts, and no messy jam stains on your seats!

    February 19, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "Oh, indeed. I can't imagine many parents allowing school personnel to "spank" their children in as public a forum as a school room."

    Make that argument too loudly and these idiots will insist it has to be done privately....you know, the teacher laying his hands all over your child's buttocks....and then insist it's to "maintain the child's dignity."

    February 19, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "up to ten forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-hand palm against the clothed buttocks of a child and any such reasonable physical force on the child as may be necessary to hold, restrain or control the child in the course of maintaining authority over the child, acknowledging that redness or bruising may occur on the tender skin of a child as a result."
    ----------------------–
    Those sound like love taps compared to how I used to get spanked multiple times with a yard stick in grades 1-3.

    February 19, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Benny

    Anyone spanks my child, I'm going to come spank them back.

    February 19, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Milk Toast

    Guys, I'm not fan of republicans, but I think all of you missed an important part of the article...

    "Democratic state representative Gail Finney of Wichita put out a statement Tuesday after media stories about her legislation, which would expand on current Kansas law by allowing teachers and caregivers to spank children up to 10 times, possibly causing redness and bruising."

    This is a Democrat who is writing this bill.

    February 19, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    rs, its been introduced by a Democrat. Regardless of who introduced it, I doubt too many parents would sanction a teacher spanking their kid, especially since so many parents refuse to teach their kids respect in the first place. Too many parents seem to think of themselves as friends first and role models second. We are seeing the results of that lazy attitude now, and suddenly people think spanking by a teacher is going to make kids behave?

    February 19, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. Ol' Yeller

    I'm sure this would not apply to the children with afluenza.

    February 19, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. Anonymous

    RS, Please read the below statement;

    Democratic state representative Gail Finney of Wichita put out a statement Tuesday after media stories about her legislation

    February 19, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Silence DoGood

    Interesting to see that wacky extreme religious folks are coming out of the woodwork in the Dems too. Hey I am a liberal but I know these closet Theocracy folks are everywhere. I am guessing religion on this one but it sure sounds like a "spare the rod" thing.

    The civilized world must look at us with guns waving, considering spanking innocents, regulating marriage, behind the curve on healthcare, taking science out of the classroom, and just shake their heads.

    February 19, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Bill from GA

    if you read the article, as much as granting the right to spank a child, which is already being done in Kansas and allowed in most states, the law draws the line between what is and what is not permitted. i clarifies what is abuse.

    Is that so stupid?

    February 19, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. HenryMiller

    "...possibly causing redness and bruising."

    Oh, the horror! Redness! Bruising! Shocking!

    Sometimes kids need a swat on the butt just to get their attention.

    February 19, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. HenryMiller

    @Rudy NYC: "I'd be all for it if they included granting the Sergeant-At-Arms for the state legislature authority to spank politicians."

    Yeah, I'd go for that, especially in Washington.

    February 19, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    This reminds me of Barney Fife and his "bud nippin' lecture" that he gave to Andy, encouraging him to spank Opey.

    February 19, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Agreed Dutch. Our principal had a thick paddle, and believe you me, I did my best not to get sent to his office.

    February 19, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Altbeer

    Please read read below before posting something about GOP;

    Democratic state representative Gail Finney of Wichita put out a statement Tuesday after media stories about her legislation

    February 19, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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