February 19th, 2014
09:50 AM ET
5 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. it must be said

    ditdahdit
    A Democrat from the far-right bastion of Wichita? In some parts of Kansas the local Democratic party only serves as a vehicle for Republicans to run against each other. I suspect this is just such a case.
    -–

    Now this is totally hilarious.... A whack job Democrat comes to light and this looney tune says they are really from another party and just pretending to be a Democrat, even though the woman is black and we all know that real blacks only belong to the Democrat party. The lies and decit of those on the left knows no bounds...

    February 19, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. truth hurts but reality bites

    1whoknowz
    In India if a child is disruptive or disrespectful, teachers are allowed to give the youth a slap across the face. Incidentally the education system in India is world renowned and our own American companies are hiring Indians because they are intelligent, well disciplined, and respectful.
    -–

    Don't forget CHEAPER TO PAY.

    Maybe they're on to something
    -–

    Yes, they are. They can PAY THEM LESS!!

    February 19, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Sonny

    A time out. The teacher will have a mouth full of teeth. Kansas is crazy. This is very simple. People are tired of kids acting the way that they do. In order to solve these problems with these kids hold the parent responsible. Kid won't go to school. Lock the parent up. Kid steals something. Lock the parent up. People are tired of dealing with these rude, disrespectful kids. You say something to them they cuss you out. Grandma is now 30 years old. All you do gooders got involved and look at the mess. When I was growing up the last thing I wanted to do was make my mother mad. She would get a belt after me. These kids now will cuss there mother and father out. May even kill them. They don't care. Beat the teachers up in the school. No respect for themselves or anybody else.

    February 19, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. amanimal

    Physical violence begets physical violence. How much more obvious can it be?

    February 19, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -it must be said

    ditdahdit
    A Democrat from the far-right bastion of Wichita? In some parts of Kansas the local Democratic party only serves as a vehicle for Republicans to run against each other. I suspect this is just such a case.
    -–

    Now this is totally hilarious.... A whack job Democrat comes to light and this looney tune says they are really from another party and just pretending to be a Democrat, even though the woman is black and we all know that real blacks only belong to the Democrat party. The lies and decit of those on the left knows no bounds...
    *********************************************
    yet another person who puts their intellectual laziness on full display. If anyone assumes that a black woman cannot have some socially conservative views and still be a member of the Democratic party, they obviously don't want to do the heavy lifting to find out why she is sponsoring the bill. Why people cannot be bothered to do a little digging before they spew out some idiotic nonsense for all to see is beyond me. The laziness and arrogance of some people know no bounds.

    February 19, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Shayna

    Using violence as the solution, teaches violence is the solution.

    February 19, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. steve

    As John McEnroe would say. "You can not be serious!"

    February 19, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Shayna

    Using violence as the solution, teaches violence is the solution

    February 19, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. TONE

    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.

    Jim I could not agree with you more I will go to the gym in training for that, i would need more power than i have now to effectively carry out that duty Gop politicians, and some Dems here I come.

    February 19, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. keeroc15

    violence begets violence – beating children is not a solution. what's next police allowed to shoot unarmed citizens ? ( oh wait that is already reality)

    February 19, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -TONE

    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.

    Jim I could not agree with you more I will go to the gym in training for that, i would need more power than i have now to effectively carry out that duty Gop politicians, and some Dems here I come.
    ****************************
    Just bring a bat. It sounds better when it makes contact.

    February 19, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. catlady

    This is totally wrong!

    February 19, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. gladiatorgrl

    Bible belt beaters

    February 19, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. No one

    Can we beat lawmakers bloody for coming up with bad ideas?

    February 19, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Lamar Henderson

    Barbarians.

    February 19, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. realoldguy

    This is another reason why Kansas is just one more of those "flyover states." Any kid with brains will leave as soon as they can.

    February 19, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Jeanneboo

    A "slap" that causes bruising is violent and should not be tolerated. I would have issues if my child came home from school bruised. Call me and I will administer appropriate discipline (and not by hitting.) My Mom was a teacher and it never occurred to her to hit a kid. She didn't need to and was respected. She also worked after things got difficult in the schools.

    February 19, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "When I was growing up the last thing I wanted to do was make my mother mad."

    You made me laugh on this. I spent yesterday sitting with my grandson (just turned 4). After a bit of testing me, I asked him if his mom ever gets angry with him. He sheepishly stated that she had. I then asked him if he'd like me to get as angry as he can make his mom angry. He readily admitted that, no, he'd rather not make me angry. After that, we had a very enjoyable day.

    February 19, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Heathen

    You hit my kid up to 10 times... I reserve the right to hit you up to 10 times. Want to take a gamble on who hits harder?

    February 19, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. toadstool

    You don't use violence because a child is misbehaving, that's assault. If you did it to some kid in the street you'd be arrested.
    Next hing you know somebody will kill a kid because he does't like their music.

    February 19, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. janer52

    shut up, gail finney. just shut up.

    February 19, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Liberal Iowan

    Kansas, who could have guessed.

    February 19, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. herchato

    Waiting on you Kansas.

    February 19, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. smr413

    She's just going along to get along in a far right nutso state.

    February 19, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. ConcernedCitizenVoter

    Pedophiles are already infiltrating education systems to look for excuses to lay their hands on children. Don't give them the green flag to do it whenever a kids does the smallest thing wrong, or nothing at all!

    February 19, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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