Kansas lawmaker introduces bill to permit teachers to hit children hard enough to bruise

Gail Finney, a Democratic Kansas lawmaker from Kansas, introduced a law that would expand Kansas's already broad protection for teachers who hit their students, making it legal to hit children hard enough to leave a bruise. Finney said that teachers and parents needed to bruise the children in their care because "some children that are very defiant and they’re not minding their parents, they're not minding school personnel."

The research on hitting children is pretty clear: it doesn't work. The bill would allow teachers and administrators to hit children, even those over 18, with permission from their parents -- legalizing the restraint and violent assault of a legal adult by a government agent.

A Kansas lawmaker has introduced a bill allowing parents, caregivers, and school officials to give harder spankings. The Sunflower State is already one of 20 (mostly Southern) states in which children can be hit as long as no mark or bruise remains afterward, but this proposed law would protect adults who strike kids forcefully enough to cause redness or discoloration. The woman behind the measure is Wichita’s Gail Finney, a Democrat and mother of three sons. She outlined her objectives for the Wichita Eagle: to define corporal punishment for the judicial system, to restore parental rights, and to shield old-school disciplinarians from child abuse charges. “What’s happening is there are some children that are very defiant and they’re not minding their parents, they’re not minding school personnel,” Finney said. Even with “a small amount of a bruise, a parent could still be charged with child abuse when it wasn’t anything serious.”

What's the Matter With Kansas? The Spanking Edition. [Katy Waldman/Slate]

(via Wil Wheaton)

(Image: A spanking good time, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from boston_public_library's photostream)

Notable Replies

  1. mtdna says:

    They tried to do this in Florida, but the teachers were terrified because the kids might put the Stand Your Ground law into action...

  2. I imagine some conservative parent of a school-age child in Kansas is chuckling to themselves right know while they imagine how much some coastal liberal parent like me is freaking out about this. Because I sure am.

  3. Someday we'll all stop pretending that any of this was ever for the benefit of the child. Adults hit kids because it feels better, and because they can get away with it. After all, they'll say, "I was hit when I was a kid, and I turned out OK"...

  4. Glitch says:

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  5. Ahh you crazy American's with your strange belief that Democrats aren't conservatives.

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