State Representative Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, Kansas, wants to pass a new bill that would allow teachers, parents and caregivers the right to strike a child with ten strikes that could leave redness and bruising. The current law says that you can beat children, but not the point where it leaves a mark. The great news is, under the new law beating a child with belts, switches, or about the head or body with your fists would still be illegal.
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 reintroducing a similar proposal again next legislative session.
I’m not a fan of spanking kids. I think all it does is teach them that you are bigger and stronger than they are and that you can physically hurt them. I think every parent has smacked their kid on the behind, when they run out onto traffic, when they repeatedly make a grab for a pot of boiling water on the stove after being told “no”, when they are getting ready to stick a fork in an electrical socket. Sometimes we think the only way to get a message across is a swift smack on the butt. I have done this before, and I usually felt so guilty afterward I cried more than my kid did. I have never spanked, spanked my kids, but I have hit them on the butt before. I’m not proud of it, but it has happened.
But this proposal is so vastly different than that! I cannot think of anything a kid under the age of 10 could do that would warrant an actual beating that would leave marks. A 17-year-old? Sure. I have read about PLENTY of cases where older teens need a spanking, but not little kids. Plus, can you imagine giving a teacher permission to hit your kid until they bruised? I’m sorry, but that is so absurd to me.
It’s your business if your child rearing includes spanking your kid as a form of discipline, but I even think parents who spank draw the line at doing it so hard their kid bruises or has red marks. That’s not teaching your kid a lesson, that’s child abuse.