TOPEKA, Kan. (CBS St. Louis) – The Kansas House is contemplating a bill that would, if passed into law, allow caregivers and school teachers to spank children harder as punishment for misbehavior.
House member Gail Finney, who is advocating for the bill, said that it would allow for up to 10 hits or smacks to the child that are hard enough to leave bruising or redness, WGHP-8 is reporting.
Current laws on the matter dictate that no marks can be left on a child as the result of a spanking.
The station learned that McPherson Deputy County Attorney Britt Colle is said to be the one who brought the idea to Finney.
“This bill basically defines a spanking along with necessary reasonable physical restraint that goes with discipline, all of which has always been legal,” Colle was quoted as saying by WGHP-8. “This bill clarifies what parents can and cannot do. By defining what is legal, it also defines what is not.”
The bill notes that hitting a child’s head or body, or hitting with fists or objects such as belts or switches are all considered illegal, and would potentially be considered abusive behaviors in the eyes of the law.
Despite those stipulations, some still disapprove of the bill.
“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,” pediatric nurse practitioner and child abuse expert Amy Terreros, of Children’s Mercy Hospital, told KCTV-5. “It tends to lead to more aggressive behavior with a child.”