The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 19, 2014

Our View: Draconian measure

— It will be a sad day for teachers, caregivers, parents and children if state Rep. Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, Kan., is successful in winning passage of a bill that sends so many wrong messages.

Finney, according to The Associated Press, wants to expand Kansas law, which currently allows spanking that doesn’t leave marks. Finney says her bill is intended to restore parental rights.

By filing the spanking expansion bill, she says it is OK if a teacher, caregiver or parent strikes a child up to 10 times with the hand. Redness and bruising would be acceptable.

First of all, we can’t imagine a teacher in these times being comfortable with this expansion. Most schools did away with corporal punishment years ago.

And we’re sure that a majority of parents would head straight to the principal’s office if this type of punishment were meted out to their child.

Child abuse is already rampant in this country, and good parents don’t need a legal definition to understand the difference between an attention-getting swat to the bottom and an act that hurts the child.

Telling parents and caregivers that spanking to the point of bruising is legally OK does not seem to be the direction Kansas should be taking.

Even though we doubt this bill will ever get passed, it is disturbing to consider that it’s even being discussed.

We’d like to see more efforts made toward protecting our children, and we think the citizens of Kansas would agree.

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