Spanking bill causes concern among parents

A Kansas lawmaker wants to make it legal for parents, child care providers and teachers to spank children until they bruise. Current Kansas law allows spanking that doesn’t leave marks.

Not everyone is in support of the bill.

At Patterson Family Child Care, it’s all about using your words.

“We seem like we’re talking all the time and we may talk three or four times about the same thing, but repetition, repetition is the way a child learns,” says Director Melissa Patterson.

Some think the learning process in Kansas needs more than that. State Representative Gail Finney of Wichita wants to allow day care providers, parents and teachers to spank kids until they bruise – in order to teach respect and improve discipline.

“My parents spanked and you know, we spank our kids when they deserved it, you normally just two swats to let them know,” says father of three, Bill Forkenbrock, “And I think some of the problems we have in the schools and higher up is these kids have grown up without any consequences to what they’ve done wrong.”

But Forkenbrock says there should be boundaries.

“If they get to the point of bruising then the person spanking is losing control,” he says.

“That means that you’re beating your child,” says mother

This bill would also allow parents to give permission to let others spank their kids.

“Personally i would never feel comfortable disciplining somebody else’s children,” says

“If there’s permission i don’t see a problem with that,”

The director of Patterson says bill or no bill, her mentality will stay the same.

“Say for instance they hit another child and you’re giving them a spanking ’cause they hit, that’s a double standard,” Patterson says, “You know, you’re telling them not to hit but you’re hitting them, i think there’s other ways that you can go about discipline.”

Kansas First News called and e-mailed Finney several times for an interview but did not immediately receive a reply. Representative John Rubin is Chairman of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee. He says he isn’t sure the committee will consider the bill.

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