Meanwhile, In Kansas

Just what we need:

A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.

Current Kansas law allows spanking that doesn’t leave marks.

Rep. Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, says she wants to allow up to 10 strikes of the hand and that could leave redness and bruising. The bill also would allow parents to give permission to others to spank their children.

It would continue to ban hitting a child with fists, in the head or body, or with a belt or switch.

Finney says she wants to restore parental rights, and improve discipline.

Apparently with everything going on in the world, making it legal to abuse kids is important.

105 replies
  1. 1
    opiejeanne says:

    Sick. Just sick.

  2. 2
    cathyx says:

    So many psycho lawmakers in Kansas. And a democrat no less.

  3. 3
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Green Balloons! Stop it with all of this depressing news, and give us some pet pictures already!

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    When I was in elementary school, the teachers were allowed to paddle children. This was Pennsylvania.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    Her rationale is that kids don’t have discipline anymore and defy their parents.

    Based on what evidence? Sitcoms?

    Or does she mean those rich white suburban kids whose affluenza causes them to go out and kill people. No, probably not.

    Bleeding Kansas indeed.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    Slightly off topic, but fuck Bill Maher.

    So Bill, corruption is OK? It doesn’t erode good government or progress in making changes in this country?

    Fuck you.

  7. 7
    SatanicPanic says:

    If you feel like in order for something to work you have to keep escalating it, you may be on the wrong path.

  8. 8
    cathyx says:

    Maybe if they just let the teachers have guns, there wouldn’t be any need to hit.

  9. 9
    Belafon says:

    @BGinCHI: I am missing the link between Maher and this story.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    @cathyx: A pistol whipping can be such a teachable moment.

  11. 11
    eric says:

    So, overwhelmingly white kansans are not parenting properly so that they need legal cover to hit their kids. White people problems ;)

  12. 12
    ruemara says:

    Ugh. Stupid, stupid, stupid woman.

  13. 13
    Ripley says:

    What’s the matter with Kansas? Nothing a childhood thrashing won’t fix, it appears.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    @Belafon: If anyone needs a spanking…..

  15. 15
    eric says:

    @BGinCHI: Stevie’s Spanking.

  16. 16
    cathyx says:

    @BGinCHI: A bullet in a body even more so.

  17. 17
    GregB says:

    Has this been dubbed the Mommie Dearest Law yet?

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @GregB: They don’t allow wire hangars so probably not.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    Democrat from Wichita

    This Demonrat is just trying to get back to her pagan roots, like all the rest of you athiests.

  20. 20

    When will KS put forth a bill outlawing the imaginary Abortionplex? It’s a gigantic imaginary thumb in God’s imaginary eye.

  21. 21
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @cathyx: When I was in secondary school, the teachers were allowed to paddle the kids with wooden paddles. This was in Kansas, not the antebellum slave-owning South, but the mindset was pretty similar.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    Had Henry and Em only smacked around that Dorothy brat, she would have learned to keep that mangy mutt on a leash.

      Elvira Gulch

  23. 23

    On a related note, if you have a second, please freep this poll on the death penalty. No registration required or anything.

    Only if you oppose the death penalty, of course.

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’m a little surprised it’s a Democrat, very surprised it’s not a man proposing the law.

    Then again, one of the worst things I ever read on this topic was about a school (in MS?) where the faculty was divided over their corporal punishment policy– it was legal in the state and left up to districts, then to schools, IIRC. the leader of the pro-beating faction was the special education teacher. Cause, you know, those kids are slow and just need a few pops to motivate them, I guess

  25. 25
    WereBear says:

    Heck, bring back hanging for shoplifting!

  26. 26
    currants says:

    @cathyx: Me too! PA, and paddling. The only ones who did it were people who, from our (kids) perspective, were ones who were terrifying anyway. In other words, anger management issues…..

  27. 27
    🎂 Martin says:

    Didn’t realize Heinlein had come back to life to write legislation.

  28. 28

    I’m a little surprised this is from a Democrat, since the GOP has been working so hard to tie up the abusive mentality vote.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Why would you be surprised this is from a woman? I promise, abusing the weak is a universal human failing unconnected to masculinity. Children are the weakest targets of all.

  29. 29
    Cassidy says:

    @cathyx: An armed school is a polite school.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @WereBear: Shhhh. Don’t give them any ideas.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:


    Summer camp I used to work at in PA allowed paddling (using canoe paddles!).

    The moment became Head Counselor, that ended.

  33. 33
    BGinCHI says:

    @🎂 Martin: If you want to make a reform school omelette…..

  34. 34
    Amir Khalid says:

    Meanwhile, in Scotland:

    The BBC reports that the student body at Glasgow University has elected Edward Snowden to the post of student rector.

  35. 35
    IowaOldLady says:

    Just what problem does this bill aim to solve? These people are sick.

  36. 36
    Zam says:

    @BGinCHI: No they mean the crying kid at the mall. I see way to much shit from people insinuating that they would like to beat a small child because it is slightly annoying for a short period. They call this teaching manners and respect, but I’m always left wondering what kind of lesson really results when your first instinct is to inflict violence on a helpless person.

  37. 37
    Patrick says:

    Wasn’t it Kansas that a week ago voted to make it legal for restaurants to discriminate against gays? Is Kansas trying to compete with Florida for weirdest state of the Union?

  38. 38
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    There should be minimum standards to be a Democrat.

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @IowaOldLady: My guess is it is the problem of other people’s children. Not my little angels, who would never be paddled and if they are its clearly the teacher’s fault because they behave so well at home so I don’t know what your problems is. But those parents whose ill behaved children who are leading mine astray. Scratch that. MIGHT be leading my kids astray because I don’t see any evidence of that when they are at home.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    And the new King of Free Scotland.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Patrick: No. The billed apparently is dead for now. But we have Tennessee and South Dakota still in the running to be first past the post on that one.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    There are. No one has met them yet.

  43. 43

    What’s the matter with Kansas?

  44. 44
    EconWatcher says:

    John, I know you’re not DougJ, but wasn’t a reference to Pink Floyd kind of obligatory in the title for this thread?

  45. 45
    Peter says:

    Remember, everyone: focused like a laser on jobs.

  46. 46
    Hal says:

    Restore parental rights? Parental rights don’t exist right now in Kansas?

  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    Only Patriotic Kansas can restore Free Market Principles to child beating.

  48. 48
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m not certain why this is controversial? My sister works at a school that has corporal punishment and this bill seems to just bring Kansas up to date with that forward looking state. I’m surprised when she tells me that the discipline is one of the differentiators that attracts parents to send their kids to that school. If we allow as much leeway in corporal punishment as possible corporal punishment we can use vouchers to let the free market decide what levels are acceptable or not.

  49. 49
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Suffern ACE: In my experience there are plenty of spanking parents who are more than willing to talk at length about how bad their children are.

  50. 50
    Cervantes says:


    So, overwhelmingly white kansans are not parenting properly so that they need legal cover to hit their kids. White people problems ;)

    Not only is Gail Finney female and (technically) a Democrat, she’s also African-American and suffers from lupus.

    Anyhow, I doubt this bill of hers is going anywhere, not even in Kansas.

  51. 51

    I can’t link from the phone, but Libby Anne at LoveJoyFeminism has been fisking the truly horrifying book “To Train Up A Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl. The Pearls’ “discipline” techniques have been implicated in the deaths of at least three children from parental abuse. It’s a whole freakin’ subculture.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    Where the fucking fuck did they come up with the metrics. “up to 10 strikes.” Hell, why the procrustean restriction–I say one strike per ten pounds. Some of those kids are BIG, nomsayn?

    For the love of god and the poor kids, don’t anybody let the Kansas legislature meet any North Koreans.

  53. 53
    beltane says:

    Forget Kansas, what’s going on in Ukraine at the moment? It is starting to look like all out civil war.

  54. 54
    El Cid says:

    Everything is about this for conservatives.

    Everything wrong with the world is because people like themselves have been restrained from humbling, humiliating, hurting, denying, punishing, jailing, or killing the bad people they don’t like.


    Every problem has to do with the unfair limits to their authority to command, starve, intimidate, exile, enslave, jail, beat, or kill the upstarts and the disobedient and the uppity and the mouthy.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    Cat video

    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
    Post by Michael Snipe Jr.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    Never mind.

  57. 57
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cervantes: Its most likely worth asking. The issue might be that Kansas’ heretofore strict corporal punishment standards are being used to break up families. But before we get up in arms about this, we might want to check out what our own state’s say is allowable. It may be another one of those cases where we get upset about Child Labor in Maine when it turns out its revised child labor code was the same as Massachusetts’ code.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beltane: And while we’re focusing on that, we’re missing that Sarajevo is heading down that path again.

  59. 59
    Lawrence says:

    Child abuse is very important to right wing christian authoritarians, and not just because they get off on the power trip. Children often model their ideas about god from their parents, and how that relationship works. If your dogma stipulates a supposedly “loving” invisible sky father who is in fact a psychotic monster, you need a model for how abuse=love. “I beat you because I love you. Those other selfish parents don’t love their children as I do you, or they would beat them. For their own good.” If you don’t establish this world where words have no meaning, apart from what meaning the patriarch assigns, then you can never subvert the normal development of human morality that is grounded in empathy into divine command theory.

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @Hal: I have the right to let someone else beat my kids, dammit! And don’t you try to take that away from me. Some kids just need beating, and not just at home, either.

    /channeling this crazy democrat who is standing up for all the crazies who wants to do this.

  61. 61
    raven says:

    not yet

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: No cats were injured in the filming of this video?

    Edit: The video wouldn’t load for me in Safari – just kept spinning, but it opened fine in Chrome. At least after I pressed the right arrow to get to the next photo, and then the left arrow to get back to the first one. Then it played.

  63. 63
    Keith G says:

    Bruising is a very amorphous standard. If the paddling of a child was done without malice and intent to injure but unintentionally leaves “marks” (and is essentially an outlying event), should there be a legal remedy? Draw the line too narrow and families will be traumatized by the criminal investigation of parents for unintended and minor outcomes.

  64. 64
    Neutron Flux says:

    These are rough times in the sunflower state. Rough times.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    raven says:

    @WaterGirl: I switched from flickr to youtube.

  67. 67
    Cervantes says:

    @Suffern ACE: Corporal punishment (“spanking”) at home is still legal everywhere in the US. It has been banned in school in a number of states; e.g., Massachusetts in 1971. There are countries where it has been banned, period.

    Which reminds me of something I wrote here recently:

    Remember the report issued by a UN committee the other day telling us all what the Vatican should do to improve the situation of children? It criticized the Church, rightly; and we did, too.

    The reporting requirement stems from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This Convention entered into force in 1990 because the vast majority of the world’s governments signed and ratified it immediately. It was signed by the Clinton Administration in 1995, nearly twenty years ago. It has still not been ratified by the US Senate.

    Bear in mind, there are three UN member states that have not yet ratified the Convention. Somalia announced last year it that is planning to ratify it (and may already have done so by now, I have not checked); and South Sudan — a country that’s two years old — has already passed the relevant legislation to ratify.

    That leaves us, one nation standing bravely alone, unwilling to recognize minimal rights of our kids; or, indeed, anyone’s kids.

    Ask yourself why.

  68. 68
    aimai says:

    @Suffern ACE: Its an enormously popular myth on the right that “kids are very sophisticated” and want to “call in the law” and “report their parents” to the police in order to get out of doing chores, or being rebuked, or breaking their curfew. And people will absolutely tell you that its true and that it happened “to my uncle” or “a friend of mine.”

    And they might be right–that is especially in authoritarian mixed families (that is with step parents and multiple half siblings) things can get pretty stressful and there can be a lot of conflict. You can also see that the issue goes right up until the kid is legally emancipated since the law includes kids as old as 18. In other words: the author of the law is imagining trouble with an older teen who is halfway out the door and who refuses to abide by the parent’s rules.

    These people have always seen “children’s rights” of all kinds (right not to be hit, rights of free speech, right to choose their own religion) as extremely problematic and an attack on the sanctity and power of the parent. Its like the way “state’s rights” have always been opposed to the rights people have asked for from the federal government–the equivalent of state’s rights vs federal government is “family/parent rights” over and against an interfereing state that comes in and prevents the rightful family government from choosing how to organize itself and discipline its members.

  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: I saw that, it started right up on youtube. Funny, but I felt bad laughing! I’m gonna blame it on the guy who was laughing in the video.

  70. 70
    beltane says:

    Being that a Democrat introduced this insane bill, won’t the likely Republican response be a bill mandating that all children carry firearms to protect themselves from the nanny state’s teachers and their spankings?

  71. 71
    raven says:

    Tweety played the mayor saying ” he deserves and ass whipping”. He then said to the female state senator from Joisey, “you’s never say that”. She says “how do you know”? Fucking douchebag.

  72. 72
    raven says:

    @WaterGirl: So, does it look like Coles cat or not?

  73. 73
    Emma says:

    @Amir Khalid: Idealism and symbolic gestures are to be encouraged in the young.

  74. 74
    the Conster says:

    @El Cid:

    Bingo. It’s why the 2nd amendment is the only amendment they care about.

  75. 75
    MomSense says:

    It is so sad because this kind of parenting by fear doesn’t work. I’ve always felt like the whole point of parenting children is to guide them so that they can be healthy, happy, fulfilled, kind, confident, compassionate human beings who have a strong sense of themselves. It’s not about what I want for or from them. They are unique human beings from the moment they are born. I don’t see how beating your kid, shaming or scaring them into doing what the parent wants will lead to anything but sadness.

    I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with these people.

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: As in, floofy and chunky and accident prone? Absolutely.

  77. 77
    muddy says:

    @aimai: 20 years ago my son said he was going to call and report that I was abusing him, he had to do housework or something dreadful like that, there was no smacking required in our house.

    I told him to go for it, see what they’d say. I said if they thought I was abusing you, they would take you and put you in foster care and you can live there instead. Are they nice? I have no idea, they are strangers, who knows. Come on, are you going to call or not?

    He said that the cops would probably be on my side and laugh at him. I said then you are not being abused, cut the comedy and get to work. So hard not to laugh, he was just so mad.

  78. 78
    recurvata says:

    What I don’t get is why this is limited to kids? Doesn’t the same rationale apply to legislators? I’ll bet Kansas would see a big population increase from people moving there to spank lawmakers.

  79. 79
    muddy says:

    @raven: We missed the best part though! When cats fall down and you laugh they are just cringing with embarrassment and try to play it off as though they meant to do it like that.

  80. 80
    muddy says:

    @🎂 Martin: Nicely done.

  81. 81
    LanceThruster says:

    What’s next, bringing back the ‘rule of thumb?’

  82. 82
    Keith G says:


    I’ll bet Kansas would see a big population increase from people moving there to spank lawmakers.

    So when someones says they need to go and spank their Senator….?

  83. 83
    The Pale Scot says:

    Well perhaps some good will come of it, maybe the inspiration for a modern album in the vein of Quadrophenia or The Wall;

    Suggested titles:

    The Real Cracker
    Doctor Buford and Mr. Hogg
    Jeebus Reign O’er Me
    The Tweaker and the Stepfather,


    Jeebus… In the Flesh? 
    The Thin Meth Ice 
    Goodbye Blue Sky (I’m working @ Walmart)
    Empty Spaces (between my ears)
    Young Lust (Kansas Style)

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @MomSense: Perhaps this addresses your concerns somewhat.

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:


    That leaves us, one nation standing bravely alone, unwilling to recognize minimal rights of our kids; or, indeed, anyone’s kids.

    Ask yourself why.

    Because there’s a retrograde minority that refuses to accept the concept of treaties, and an overlapping retrograde minority that refuses to accept the concept of rights, and that’s enough to block ratification of any treaty protecting anyone’s rights.

  86. 86
    BrianD says:

    As a teacher, I am blown away by the contradictory facts that the Right totally despises me and wants to allow me to best their children.

  87. 87
    BrianD says:

    As a teacher, I am blown away by the contradictory facts that the Right totally despises me and wants to allow me to best their children.

  88. 88
    BrianD says:

    As a teacher, I am blown away by the contradictory facts that a) the Right totally despises me and b) wants to allow me to beat their children.

  89. 89
    PurpleGirl says:

    Proverbs 13:24 (New International Version)

    Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

    AKA: Spare the rod, spoil the child.

    Not that I agree with this or with corporal punishment in schools, but I am the only person who thought of this saying and the supposed Biblical “endorsement”.

  90. 90
    karen says:

    My guess is that her seat is in danger from a Tea Partier and she’s covering her ass by beating on a child’s. Either that or all that’s stopping her from beating her child or grandchild is the silly little “no hand marks” rule.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    She just sounds like a person who is easily persuaded:

    McPherson Deputy County Attorney Britt Colle introduced the idea to Finney.

    So one prosecutor got to her and convinced her this was necessary. It may not be any more complicated than that.

    I’m often disappointed at the really cavalier approach they use when coming up with these faddish things. You’d like to think they’re giving lawmaking a lot of thought, but many times they aren’t. He’s on some “parental discipline” jag probably based on one bad case and she’s just jumping right onboard.

  92. 92
    condorcet runner-up says:

    This is just totally nuts. Who sits around and comes up with this law? Seriously, I’m interested in the thought process here. Who is sitting around thinking this stuff up? What a sick mind.

  93. 93
    condorcet runner-up says:

    @Kay: I can see someone being easily persuaded to sponsor a bill naming some courthouse after some local philanthropist (pretty harmless) or even sponsoring some bill making it easier for a local business to operate (gets a little shadier), but I’m really baffled at the thought process of a human being who cavalierly goes along with any expansion if the right to abuse a child. It’s just totally sick.

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    Had a discussion at lunch about who got physical punishment as a child. Out of 6 one person didn’t comment, of the other 5 I was the only one to not receive corporal punishment at home. We didn’t talk about school but corporal punishment was not allowed in my school district. We did have a coach in jr high who used to pick up kids by the neck so he didn’t have to bend over to yell at them. Only saw him do it a couple of times.

  95. 95
    Steeplejack says:

    Oops, didn’t notice that this thread started ages ago.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @condorcet runner-up:

    I can see someone being easily persuaded to sponsor a bill naming some courthouse after some local philanthropist (pretty harmless)

    You would think that would be true, but it really isn’t. Laws and norms regarding children are nuts a lot of the time. We veer wildly with children, we go from one extreme to another. We’re not at all consistent about it.

    The madness about child abuse in day cares the 1980’s is a really good example of how insane it can get. Another one would be the situation now regarding juvenile sex offenders. All of the (relatively new) sex offender laws that apply to juveniles are going to have to be rethought, or, actually, thought through for the first time, IMO. They’re doing enormous damage. The goal was good. Protect younger children from sexual abuse by older children. But it’s a disaster in practice.

    Sometimes we veer wildly back and forth and actually learn something. An example of that would be the 20 year debate over child protective actions; do we use “best interests” of the child or do we put that a distant second to parental rights and shoot for “good enough” homes? That eventually came down to a blend of the two goals, an imperfect and fallible middle route, but it occasionally flares up again because a “good enough” home is riskier and then there’s outrage because the child wasn’t protected.

    I would go the other way, actually. I think people are more likely to make bad laws regarding children. The truth is we’re not rational about them. Not at all.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @condorcet runner-up:

    I think the (stated) rationale for the law is bogus. There aren’t a whole lot of close cases on actual child physical abuse. We’re not, actually, arresting a lot of people for ordinary spanking of their children. There are lots and lots and lots of these cases and they’re adjudicated all the time. We have a lot of practice in determining what is ordinary discipline and what is child abuse or neglect or what is (criminal) domestic violence. There’s a whole set of factors. It’s imperfect and people screw up, but it’s not like people haven’t been dealing with discerning the difference between discipline and abuse or domestic violence or assault for the last 30 years. They have, and it’s always been a tricky balancing act between protection of the child and rights of the parents and when the state can intervene.

  98. 98
    hells littlest angel says:

    @BGinCHI: Let the Invisible Hand slap the shit out of that child!

  99. 99
    Cervantes says:


    Out of 6 one person didn’t comment


  100. 100
    John Weiss says:

    @raven: Nothing funny about that video: there is obviously something awfully wrong with that cat.

  101. 101
    Gretchen says:

    Eric: Wichita has a black population of 11.42%, and its proportion has risen in the last few years.
    In better news, the national outcry about the gay bill has penetrated, and legislators are embarassed and don’t want their name on it. I’m from the non-insane corner of the state, a Kansas City suburb, but it’s getting to be embarassing to be from here.

  102. 102
    Gretchen says:

    Eric: Wichita has a substantial and growing black population.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    Matt says:


    I’d have thought it was obvious what this was intended to solve – Kansas Talibangelicals are worried that beating their kids black and blue might be illegal even in Kansas. “Spare the rod”, etc. The worst are the assholes who adopt kids who are basically refugees and then put them through hell “for the sake of their souls”.

  105. 105
    Matt says:


    I’d have thought it was obvious what this was intended to solve – Kansas Talibangelicals are worried that beating their kids black and blue might be illegal even in Kansas. “Spare the rod”, etc. The worst are the assholes who adopt kids who are basically refugees and then put them through hell “for the sake of their souls”.

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