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Kansas: Teachers Could Spank Harder Under Pending Bill

(Photo Credit: KCTV video still via CNN)

(Photo Credit: KCTV video still via CNN)

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.

76 comments

  • Hailey

    If you make it a process where parents come to do the spanking in the presense of an appointed authority…there is more abuse due to parents so confused what discipline should be…this is a lost generation.

  • Annie

    Spanking can scar someone body, mind and soul for the rest of their life. Some parents, grandparents take it out of hand. I dont think anyine should spank their kids.

  • Sean

    My “whoopins” never ended in a hug or an “I love you”.They were terrifying, painful and violent. Not all parents “spank” the same. And not all children respond the same. I remember my “spankings” as abuse. Because it was. It still bothers me today and I am 43 years old. It makes me feel sick inside to think of ever hitting my children just to teach them a lesson. I would rather just teach them the lesson. I must add that I have two teenage honor students that respect me, themselves, teachers and adults I have never hit them.

  • tammy

    I have walked out of stores like Walmart a number of times to hear a child telling their parents to f off, I’m 45 years old and if I would have ever done that !y father would have busted my butt. Here is a prime example for you to think of someone I knew son stole a music CD from a store the father found out packed him up took him to the store and made his son return it and when he got home he got spanked, the child then went to school reported his father and he was charged for domestic violence, mind you he left no marks on the child. Judge looked at the father like he was an abuser, yet the son was wrong for stealing. The father looked at the judge and his reply to him was if I can’t spank him to teach him right from wrong so he grows up to be a good citizen you will hold me responsible for his outcome, so therefore if you are tie my hands to correct so I say you raise him and the father signed over to the state to raise the child pleaded and cried that day in court and the father said to him I have always gave you a great life better that kids who have nothing and you have been spoiled and you to do this, the father let the state take the child and him and his son never spoke again after that day in court. Children need discipline not to the point of abuse a swat or 2 sends a message, waiting til you leave a store amdgeg home sends the message that the child has won in my eyes! And out of school suspensions is a joke that’s just a vacation for them I would make them sit in a class room do the work and still get a zero grade then they would clean the schools after dismissal time, send a message to them and I think all schools should wear uniforms these kids clothes now days is just crazy, I know if my grandsons come to my house with half their butts hanging they need not bother stepping foot in my house we dress respective here not like hoodlums!

  • Annie

    I know. My sister and grandpa and dad did it to me and it one of my bad memory and im in my early 30. I would never lay a hand on my kids. I never want them to feel the way I did

  • john

    Yes ! Back when i was in school we had respect for elders. That was due to padeling. Kids are out of control these days. They need corection.

  • doggercise

    teachers don’t really need to hit kids until they are teenagers.
    when they are smaller, it is enough to just hold them by the shoulder.

  • Judy Bateman

    As a retired teacher, I always felt that I was there to teach not to spank. If an issue was that serious, the three of us had a conferenceto see what we could do about it. I didn;t want my child hit by others ;so why would I want to hit othe people’s children? I always felt that I should treat other people’s children the way I wanted mine treated. Spanking can also become ugly because there are some children with emotional issues or who have been abused and will hit back if they’re hit. School is not a place for wrestling not fighting and especially not between students and teachers. Yes, consequences are alternatives to spanking and they should be reasonable.

  • Sean Martin (@Sean44089)

    I dont understand how pain and fear is supposed to teach respect. That is the exact opposite that we teach our kids when they become young adults. We teach that pain, fear and intimidation do is not how to earn the respect of others. We lead our children by example. We teach our children with love and respect. We teach them to love and respect themselves. They now know how to properly treat and respect others. Fear and pain teach children that fear and pain is the answer. It is not.
    I must add that I have two highschool honor student daughters that we have never put a hand on.

  • Working Stiff

    YES!! It’s is called a Deterrent …it is the consequence for not following the rules. Common sense shows that over the years as deterrents have softened children and criminals have gotten worse. Think about it…back in the 50’s & 60’s more children had access to guns…how many school shootings were there?? Children need to have respect and limits. Time outs are not working!

  • Staci

    If a teacher laid a hand on my child in a ill manner she/he would be reporting to ME after school! What if that teacher is having a really bad day, stressed out, and has had enough and takes it out on some child. And sometimes the schools are the only place where a child may feel safe if their home life is unstable and abusive. You take that away and where does the child go or who can they turn to?
    I raise my children to be respectful without having to spank them. As teenage boys (closing in on adulthood) they continue to respect their family, friends, and adults alike. It’s not about beating them into submission but teaching them how to behave.

  • Randy

    Spanking if fine,but not ok to leave marks. Redness is going to happen so no problem there. If this research says time-outs are so effective then why are the children today lacking respect. If my parents had give me a time-out i’d have done it and then went right back to what I was doing. A belt or switch is ok as long as no bruising.

  • j

    It says in the article that the school (“anyone given PERMISSION by the parents”) can spank the child. Some of you people need to read before you freak out and say”If the school hits my child , I’m gonna…..!” You have control of the situation.Relax.

  • Qness

    My great-grandfather felt no need to physically punish his children, my grandparents did not physically punish my mother, she did not physically punish me and I have not physically punished my children. Those who say that corporal punishment is how they always got their kids to behave back when aren’t entirely accurate. My children are well behaved, respect me, respect the other adults they come into contact with. If you model proper behavior and reinforce it consistently then your children will behave. The biggest reason I see for the growing unruliness in children is that adults no longer act like adults. I’ve heard grown people scream and cuss at clerks, waiters, other drivers, fellow passengers over small, unintentional slights rather than pointing them out and handling it in a civilized manner. When adults will not behave properly, how will children ever learn to?

  • TLK

    My kids respect me and respect other adults. I did not have to use my hands to hit or anything else. We had a list of rules and the kids had timeouts and we took the time to talk to them to explain why things they had done were wrong. They knew if they broke our rules they would have a timeout or as they got older they would have a no electronics day or something else they like to do taken away for a day. Take the time to train the kids to be respectful without using physical punishment. I am proud of my kids respect for others.

  • tonyz@centurytel.net

    My child came home with a hand print on his or her body from a teacher. I would return the favor. After all isn’t it teaching violence. Can’t get satisfaction get physical. There are better ways of getting younger peoples attention. Teachers make me sick, get every holiday, government or otherwise off, snow day’s right, to cold days…teach what they want or not at all, and people want them to have the right to beat your kids. Comon this is insane. Your an educator, if you can’t conduct yourself as one find a new job. If a misbehaving child gets to you, send that person out of the class. period..grow up

    • jim

      well said wish some teacher would lay a hand on my child they always complain about how hard there job is and last time i checks out here in Ohio strongsville teachers the highest paid teachers in Ohio went on strike.

  • Kali

    Any teacher ever puts their hands on my child I will make sure they know what it feels like to be hit by someone bigger and stronger than them. There is no way in hell I would allow that to happen. If they are allowed to hit my child wether it be with a hand or a paddle I am allowed to hit the teacher too. You have a problem with my kid you call me and allow me to deal with it as a parent. There is absolutely no excuse for a teacher to put their hands on a child. Their job is to teach, not to discipline. Give them a time out or a detention or call the parents but there is no reason for a teacher to EVER hit a child.

  • Redhead teach

    First, the article states if a parent gives permission so lets clarify that to start. Now to the parents that are going off about “if anyone ever hit my kid…” from the comments I have read ALL of you seem to be raising responsible, respectful children. I can’t see a teacher wanting a reason to put a hand on a child who comes to school with those values and support from home. We need more of you! The new generation of children are being taught that teachers have no recourse. Time outs in the classroom work when a student chooses to walk over and take the time out. I have had students openly defy or comply with adult directives, cuss at me, throw things at me, refuse to do classwork, etc. When I call home and explain the situation the response I always receive is, “Well s/he doesn’t do that at home.” Hmmm, why do you think that is? Then I put the child on the phone so s/he can explain to their parent their behavior. the parent makes some type of threat, the child has tears rolling down their face, and then I’m assured that all is taken care of and it won’t happen again. If students thought paddling was a possibility and being embarrassed in front of their classmates it could be a deemed a serious deterrent. I would probably add that their parent will available to weld the paddle instead of waiting until s/he got home that day.

    It is hard teaching a generation of children raised by a generation of children that lack parenting skills. You would be shocked at some of the behaviors teachers are expected to deal with that take time away from other students that deserve a high quality education. Schools are responsible for not only instructing children but providing breakfast, lunch, and many teachers pay for school supplies. I know many teachers who bring in their child’s outgrown coats and shoes to give to our little ones or go out and buy mittens and make scarves because they aren’t dressed appropriately. So on a good day I’m just a teacher. Everyday I’m a counselor, nurse, “mom”, homework police, and child advocate.

  • Tim

    Its true we lack discipline with children theses days.I had loving parents like many has said and they did not like to spank not to say they wouldnt but they sure didnt like it.I always got warnings and if i failed to take the warning at face value if it was bad enough then id get the spanken.That said I didnt like getting spanked so i would avoid doing the crime that led to it lol.I agree with many keep it on the butt face back hands chest ect is out of the question.I have fallen on my rump many times that hurt way worse then a swat on the bumm so i know the bumm can take it.That said if you have a child that doesnt need a whippen then dont.My daughter is 21 um i dont recall whippen her however i did swat on the butt when she was younger like befor school. Once she was in school i didnt need to really other methods worked for her.Some kids i know for a fact have grown to disrespect there parents and when that happens they will fail to respect there own wife and kids and even society.There is a diffrence between beating a kid and spanking them.If a abuser is raising you despite the laws or what should or shouldnt happen its still going to happen with a abuser!

  • Debra shirkey

    THE WHOLE POINT ISIF WE TAUGHT THEM FROM THE BEGINNING THERE WOULDNT BE ANY PROBLEMS..CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE!

  • tee mac

    People still go against God when it’s about righteousness! Kid’s are so wicked today because people don’t read the instruction book, they want to raise the kid’s there way and afterward the kid rebell on there parent and world. I’m glad my parents wiped me because to this day if I’m doing something wrong I hear my parents voice. Kid’s were more respectful when they were disciplined the right. There is no such thing as time out, that’s a ridiculous way to punish your child.
    Proverbs 13 :24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

  • Teresa

    I just sat here reading all of these comments and I would like to point a couple things out 1. I like how we as adults can sit and say that My child came home with a hand print on his or her body from a teacher. I would return the favor. well there you go how is that any different then spanking your child if you are willing to abuse another person for hitting isn’t this all in the same. It is true kids nowadays get lack discipline. Why do you thinks there are gangs everywhere if you think they are not in your town your city you need to have a good look around as they are everywhere they might not be shooting up the town or doing distruction of property. But they are there. Kids shooting others being disrespectful. I for one think that the goverment and school etc have pushed child abuse down so many kids that Parents are affraid to discipline there child. I was out one day and a parent had to yell at there child for doing something and I heard the child say I’m going to turn you in for child abuse. Now really This is what we want our children to turn out like and be the ones taking care of the world or for that fact our children who do know right from wrong live with. Come on people get real Yes there is a differents between a swat on the bottom and child abuse. I would like to know how many think parents think fighting is alright well in my book it is still abuse. 2. When a child hears you say that if anyone ever lays a hand on your child for them to look out what is that teach your child. Answer ABUSE. I am in no way saying that it is right or wrong to spank a child on the bottom with your hand. But come on people lets face reality and see that children nowadays do get away with way to much and yes I know every child is not perfect and every single one of us can say that my child knows right from wrong but we are not with our children 24/7 so how do we really know that they are not doing wrong at some point.

  • Arthur

    Spankings should be only done by parents. I was sent to the corner sent to bed without dinner toys videogames taken away or thrown out an I got my behind beat every time I got into major trouble all the way into high school and I learned respect for others and to think about the consequences. I know for a fact if my kid mis behaves I’m going to spank them make them stand in the corner ground them and take entertainment away and I don’t care if the government likes it or not we need to stop letting kids run us. We are the adults and we need to remind these misbehaving wannabe jackasses that they are kids. Just the other day i was in walmart and a little boy was screaming at the top of his lungs “f**k you mom you stupid b***h i fucking hate you. You better buy me a f**king toy or else.” If that had been me my dad, aunt, and grandma would have beat me for hours and thrown everthing of mine but clothes and bed away. But because the stupid government says we can’t or we will get our kids taken away we cower in fear and don’t do anything. My aunt and dad both told be if I ever called cps that I better call for an ambulance to because they were going to give them a reason to take me. I leave you with this I am 22 I go to college I have bought all three of my cars two Buicks and a jaguar I work at a musical theatre and I respect everyone I meet

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