WICHITA, Kansas– Wichita Democrat Gail Finney has introduced a bill that would allow parents or anyone a parent has given permission to punish a child with up to ten forceful open palmed swats against the clothed buttocks of a child.
McPherson Deputy County Attorney Britt Colle first introduced the idea to representative Gail Finney.
Colle has prosecuted hundreds of child abuse cases saying some of the cases are discipline and the law should make that clear.
It’s a debate on where to draw the line for some parents.
“I think parents should be able to discipline their children,” said Delora Childers, parent.
House Bill 2699 would allow parents to slap and smack their child ten times for discipline knowing that redness or bruising may occur.
“As long as parent is in control of their emotion and communicate with the child love rather than anger,” said Erin Sundquist, looks after nephews from time to time.
McPherson Deputy County Attorney Britt Colle brought the idea to the table. He declined an on camera interview, but gave a written testimony in support of the bill to KSN.
“It is time to allow parents to take control of their children’s lives to save them from a future of breaking rules and laws on a whim,” said Colle. “For years I have been dealing with children issues and juvenile offenders. I find that for the most part that they are not children in need of care, but are in fact oppositional defiant children in need of discipline.”
Licensed Psychologist Molly Allen doesn’t agree with the bill. Allen says spanking and leaving a mark behind may not be the best form of discipline.
“If you’re having to spank frequently at least a weekly occurrence in your household then there’s probably something wrong there,” said Molly Allen, licensed psychologist.
The Kansas Children’s Service League issued a statement to KSN in response to the introduction of the bill saying they are in opposition to any federal or state statue that would increase the potential likelihood of physical harm or emotional trauma to any child as a mean of discipline or for any other purpose.