February 19th, 2014
09:50 AM ET
8 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. Jason

    I dare a teacher to spank my child. There is no end to what I would do. I DO NOT hit my daughter, if Im unhappy with her behavior I let her know and explain what should be done. If it continues then a punishment will come, but not violence. Discipline begins in the home but a teacher should never have the right to hit a child. High School is another story

    February 19, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. mumstea

    So ridiculous... Why is this necessary? Seems like a big waste of taxpayer dollars to me.

    February 19, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. sly

    Is there some contest between Kansas, Arizona and Florida to see which state has the most backward hick laws?

    Wow ... neanderthal's are all over America, and there are some folks who still don't believe in evolution. Just open your eyes and you'll see Darwin everywhere.

    February 19, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Solomon Walker

    If I see parents beating their children I will call the police. You had better not do it in front of me.

    February 19, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Joe

    That woman is a lunatic. I’m ashamed that she is a democrat. I know that life can be frustrating but beating outers into submission is not the actions of a civilized person.

    February 19, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Margaret Canfield

    I never stuck my tongue out at an adult after that initial time I'll tell you that much,

    February 19, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. JC

    Something like that ever happened to my child, I'd find the teacher, lock them in a room and proceed to give them a heck of alot more than 10 whacks. After that, I'd find this lawmaker, and she wouldn't be sitting for the next 2 months.

    February 19, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Dallas

    You can't be serious with this crap! Let the teacher strike my child once – God help him/her!

    February 19, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Noooooooo,.............

    Well, well, well............ now that marihuana is legal is some states, legislators: "want to legalize child abuse". Please give me a break, we must protect the children not abuse them. :-)

    February 19, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. JC

    Here's my challenge. Just try it and see what happens.

    February 19, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Pander Bear

    Kansas is obviously jealous of all the "stupidest state" recognition that Florida and Texas have been receiving lately.

    February 19, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Me

    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!
    ____________
    Hey RS, do you know how to read???
    "Democratic state representative Gail Finney of Wichita put out a statement Tuesday"
    She is a democrat NOT a repub, you are such a partisan hack you can even identify what party the individual belongs to, you simply assume if you don't agree with it it must be from the GOP. Sad thing is, this doesn’t surprise me a bit, get a clue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    **************
    I gather you did not see the comment rs made admitting he/she made a mistake, and essentially agreed with much of what you are saying.

    February 19, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Brad

    Bill who?

    February 19, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. T Jeff

    Oh, it's Kansas? Ah, enough said.

    February 19, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. jim

    anyone lays a hand on my child, be they a teacher, public official, etc. they're gonna see a man get mean

    February 19, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Jim in PA

    I propose a bill that allows us to slap politicians. Doesn't even have to be 10 times. Just one good one to rattle the teeth.

    February 19, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Legislating morality again Republicans???!!!

    ...why don't you pass a bill that says you cant have meat during lent, or women must wear dresses only, no pants???...

    February 19, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    I found this odd coming from a Democrat. Then I looked her up and found her to be Black. The black community's acceptance of abuse comes from slavery. She should be fighting to end the cycle instead of encouraging it to go on.

    February 19, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Larry B.

    Think we could get that amended to apply to ALL members of Congress?

    February 19, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ TONE
    I remember the first thing in the morning hygene checks (you couldn't wear nail polish or any type of make-up btw), the ever-present, ever-hated ruler on hand to measure the length of our uniform skirt, ensuring that it was in compliance with the Lord I guess! And their arthritic hands grabbing you around th waist to make sure you had two buttons in the front of your frock and two in the back.
    When I arrived to the states I was skipped a grade even though my English was pretty non-existent.
    They knew how to hit and they knew how to teach those penguins did.

    February 19, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. ken

    I'd like to see a teacher put a hand on my daughter. That person would be lucky to wake up from the beating I would put on them.

    February 19, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. snowdogg

    Just crazy... an invitation for lawsuits.

    February 19, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. david benson

    beat that kid

    February 19, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey RS, do you know how to read???
    "Democratic state representative Gail Finney of Wichita put out a statement Tuesday"
    She is a democrat NOT a repub, you are such a partisan hack you can even identify what party the individual belongs to, you simply assume if you don't agree with it it must be from the GOP. Sad thing is, this doesn’t surprise me a bit, get a clue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    **************
    I gather you did not see the comment rs made admitting he/she made a mistake, and essentially agreed with much of what you are saying.
    -------------------------------------------------Nope they totally missed that in their haste to....
    And we were all doing so well sharing our commonality and human experiences.....
    Oh well...

    February 19, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. James

    Do your job at home and you won't have to worry about it. Don't be the one who neglects disciplining their child at home then look at a teacher and blame them for your lack of parenting.

    February 19, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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