Bill in Kansas Legislature would give teachers more power to spank children

Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. Courtesy: Wikipedia

Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. Courtesy: Wikipedia

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KANSAS CITY -- A lawmaker in Kansas wants to give school teachers and caregivers more power to spank children.

KCTV reports Kansas House member Gail Finney, a Democrat from 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.

The proposed 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.

It's not clear if the bill will even come up for consideration in the Kansas legislature this session.

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