If you’re concerned that parents feel constrained by law to hit their children, State Rep. Gail Finney, a Kansas Democrat, is rushing to your side.
A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.
Current Kansas law allows spanking that doesn’t leave marks. State Rep. Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, says she wants to allow up to 10 strikes of the hand and that could leave redness and bruising. The bill also would allow parents to give permission to others to spank their children. It would continue to ban hitting a child with fists, in the head or body, or with a belt or switch.
In introducing and defending a bill that may be inspired by the Biblical “spare the rod, spoil the child” maxim, Finney explained that she wants to strike a blow (sorry) for parental rights and discipline.
Although Rep. John Rubin, chairman of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, doesn’t seem too keen on considering the bill, supporters of Finney’s plan believe that
… 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
Finney is a member of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church in Wichita. Her proposal to allow the hard and repeated spanking of children stands out in a political record that includes her public endorsement of medical marijuana, and her recent “nay” vote on a misnomered “religious freedom” bill, HB 2435, that would legalize discrimination against gay couples.