Kansas Lawmaker Pushes 'Spanking' Bill

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 09:11 AM

By Melanie Batley

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A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow parents, caregivers, and teachers to spank children hard enough to leave redness and bruising.

Kansas state Rep. Gail Finney believes the law would restore parental rights and improve discipline among the state's children, according to a Kansas CNN affiliate, KCTV .

The proposal would allow up to 10 strikes of the hand and smacks hard enough to leave redness or marks, but would leave a current ban in place on hitting a child with fists, in the head or body, or with a belt or switch.

Caregivers and teachers would need to obtain parental permission before striking a child in their care.

The proposal is facing opposition from child abuse experts who call the practice harmful and 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," pediatric nurse practitioner Amy Terreros, a child abuse expert, told the station.

It is unclear whether the Legislature will consider the bill, but Finney says he plans to introduce it again in the next legislative session if necessary.

Spanking is legal is most states, but hurting a child is classified as child abuse in many states and is therefore illegal.

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