Friends of KARA, below are the comments made on a network debating the Kansas state bill that would allow the beating of children by virtually any caregiver and the leaving of bruises.  The good news is that most people hate it for its neanderthal approach to child rearing but there are a fair number of folks that just want the right to beat children.

My mom was born 9 years prior to women’s rights being passed in America.  Before this, almost no amount of violence was illegal against a man’s wife.  Not so different with children in America today.  The passing of this law in Kansas will demonstrate just how tragically ill informed state legislators can be.  Support Kids At Risk Action & Purchase Amazon Kindle Invisible Children Ebook for 2.99 (support KARA) or Printed Book $16.95

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Advocacy NetworkTop Contributor


State Rep Gail Finney says whacking children is about restoring parental rights (along with the rights of teachers and other caregivers) and not child abuse. I guess that depends on how you define abuse. Imagine letting other people whack your…


 desanka popovic likes this


  • kenneth Barneskenneth

    kenneth Barnes

    Social Worker at CSCSJP Ministry of national Security

    Beating only reinforce thenegative

  • Matthew ParkerMatthew

    Matthew Parker

    Army Veteran/Student at Liberty University

    What do you define as beating? I feel like everyone has there own views on this topic. I am obviously against abuse but do think that spankings when used properly and not out of anger can be beneficial! Thoughts?

    Colleen B.Nancy L. like this

  • John Christensen

    Board Member at Kids At Risk Action (KARA) – Children’s Rights Advocacy Network

    Top Contributor

    Matthew, The Kansas statute being proposed means I could hit you ten times and leave bruises. You could not hit me back. You would have no recourse against me. Then your teacher could hit you ten times, your social worker could hit you ten times, and just about anyone charged with taking care of your could hit you ten times. You would just have to get used to it, like kids in abusive homes do. You would have no voice in all of this.

    What we do to our children, they will do to society (Pliny, 2000 years ago)

    Look around you, prisons overfull, streets unsafe, and schools don’t work. Beating people solves nothing and has made us mean and cost us our sense of humanity.

    Nancy L.Debbie O. like this

  • Cynthea JenkeCynthea

    Cynthea Jenke

    Nonprofit Organization Management Professional

    Top Contributor

    As long as there is no weapon involved and not more than once at a time. Some people do loose their temper when irritated. Yes more parental rights but support the family too. Noone else should still be allowed to whack another persons child.

  • Matthew ParkerMatthew

    Matthew Parker

    Army Veteran/Student at Liberty University


    Wow! I wasn’t fully aware of what the bill was proposing. Hitting anyone especially a child up to ten times is excessive to say the least. Allowing someone else the ability to hit my child or someone else’s is an outrage!! I agree that we live in an unsafe world and this will only enhance that problem. Parents are going to have to stand against this I know I will! Thanks for the response and what you described this bill is proposing I consider child abuse without a doubt!

  • Tim

    Tim Naill, LCSW

    Team Leader at Rockford Vet Center

    Very unfortunate. So much opportunity for excessive punishment. If you are an intelligent human being with the capacity to use language, there is no reason to hit anyone. Many children grow into successful adults without ever being hit by an authority figure.

  • Sandra

    Sandra Durr LLBSW

    –Experienced Student Service Professional at Wayne County Community College District

    Where do you people come from, can you not see the hand writing on the wall good old fashion spanking need to be brought back. It’s not little Johnny that got the spankings that kills Mom and Dad, it’s little Johnny that got the time outs that are doing these deeds.
    Spankings are one thing and Beatings are something else and 10 hits may be a bit overboard.
    However, look at the history of our schools, there is no RESPECT by the kids for their teachers or their parents. I for one say bring back corporal punishment back to the classrooms, a few hits with a ruler or paddle won’t damage their psyche

  • John Christensen

    Board Member at Kids At Risk Action (KARA) – Children’s Rights Advocacy Network

    Top Contributor

    Wow Sandra, that is quite a backwards looking approach to child rearing. Decades of real research by people with real degrees and actual experience have pretty much put an end to the corporal punishment (as effective) theory. Especially people that have worked with abused and neglected children. Whacking kids that have been hit hard has just the opposite effect and you see that when these kids get in trouble for doing the thing you like so much, just harder (they hit harder and really beat people). In MN about 90% of the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection.

    When you say “a bit overboard” do you mean perhap 8 or 9 whacks instead of 10 (what is the “right” number of hits according to your theory?

    Blaming troubled schools on parents and teachers that did not hit their children is not much different than blaming overcrowded prisons on cops that didn’t beat up the people they put in the back seat of their squad car.

    It takes a great deal more self control and mental effort to discipline children by not hitting them. Take the time & make the effort.

  • Kendra JowersKendra

    Kendra Jowers

    MSW Intern at Homeless Veteran’s Reintegration Program

    I am not opposed to the use of spankings/corporal punishment; however, I question any bill which states that leaving bruises on a child is acceptable.

  • Sandra

    Sandra Durr LLBSW

    –Experienced Student Service Professional at Wayne County Community College District

    John it worked in my community, and I believe it would work again, BACKWARD or not.

    I blame trouble in schools on the lack of disciple at home and lack of respect for teachers and respect should be taught at home. Guess we just have to agree to disagree right or wrong I am entitled to my opinion. And yes 8 or 9 whacks is still a bit much. While time out or punishment is still the answer most times, However spanking has it time and place also, of course my opinion John.

    Matthew P. likes this

  • Audrey MorrisonAudrey

    Audrey Morrison

    Social Worker at Upper Grand District School Board

    This sickens me. I had to reread several times to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. Are we back in the sixties? Spanking only serves to reinforce that adults can be bullies and violent perpetrators with no protection or recourse for our most vulnerable. Perhaps a more appropriate approach would be to ensure that teachers and parents learn effective skills WITHOUT having to resort to state sanctioned physical violence.

  • Vincent Stokes, MSWVincent
  • Barbara DeLisleBarbara

    Barbara DeLisle

    Clinical Social Work

    I don’t think we live in a day and time where it is a good idea to introduce legislation to legalize corporal punishment of any kind. I haven’t seen any research that suggests that children who receive corporal punishment have better outcomes.I have read much research that suggests that children who perceive that their caregivers who love and support them have better outcomes.

  • Colleen BoothColleen

    Colleen Booth

    Student at Keuka College

    I believe that their are many views on this topic and I have to agree with Mathew about a spanking in the right way and not out of anger does not hurt children by any means, you must take the situation and the child into consideration. I feel that since this whole quiet time has started and children being able to contact the police for a parent disciplining and I don’t mean beating their child at all has gotten way out of hand. Many parents today now worry that if they even raise their voice to their child they will be arrested and the children are now ruling our society in very negative behaviors. Just my feeling on the matter by no means am I for a parent or anyone for that matter beating, abusing, neglecting, or bullying children.

  • Vincent Stokes, MSWVincent

    Vincent Stokes, MSW

    Disability Rights Advocate

    I agree Colleen but it’s a very fine line. How do you define it? That is the trick. When I was a child my parents had a wooden spoon that did the trick. They spanked me once (in retrospect it must have been lightly) after I did something wrong and then every time thereafter if I considered going against their wishes they simply asked, “You don’t want me to get the spoon do you?”

    That worked great until I did something else several years later that warranted another “spooning”. My Father actually broke the spoon on my behind because I was making fun of him for not hitting me hard enough. After that the spoon became a joke.

  • Colleen BoothColleen

    Colleen Booth

    Student at Keuka College

    My mother and your father must have been related lol because I was a child that seemed to always get myself into trouble, nothing crazy and omg never involved with and police. I have to agree their is a very fine line and while one person might think that a certain spank might work another person would say that is to hard or to soft or not enough reinforcement. I as a parent of two children, one daughter 23 and a son 18 feel that communication is the best way to reach that child when they are old enough to understand you, but they have to get to that age first and by guiding them and setting boundaries from the start will only benefit that child later in life.

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      •  Connor

        Director of Youth Services


      • Emily BrownEmily

        Emily Brown

        Student at SJR State

        What about the child’s rights? There are more effective ways to discipline besides “whacking” a child. What has happened to this country?????

      • Yula MillerYula

        Yula Miller

        House Manager at New Hope

        I’m not liking the idea of leaving bruises on a child, as I do believe in parents/guardians spanking a child on the butt even in public if necessary. Bruises sound excessive and border on abuse.

      • Yaell KhoobaanYaell

        Yaell Khoobaan


        I do not agree with even spanking the child. What kind of message this will relate to children? It will only teach children it is OK to hit while it is not. Also, hurting and busing a child must not be allowed. I understand some children may be difficult, however, hitting is not the answer. Children will respond much better in calm environment. A child will rebel if the environment they live in, is hostile. Sure they would listen for a while, but it will back fire in the long run. I will never agree to busing a child. perhaps the ones who want to set this law, must have some people bruise them to see how it feels like first.Such a shame if this law ever passes on.


  1. What led to my being sexually abused was the beatings that I received with a barber razor strap so much so that twice at 8 and 9 years old I dove thru the front picture window and a storm door window. That was less painful, but what it did was set me up for my “kind sexual abuser” because I wanted someone to love me. At that young age children can have one good or bad experience that defines their lives. I have never touched my son and he likewise with his 3 children and they turned out great. Use your head & heart before ever using your hand.

  2. Thank you, Lou, for sharing your childhood experience. It is amazing that you didn’t repeat the cycle with your own children. You used “your head and heart” to raise your children and as a result your children have used their “head and heart” when raising your grandchildren. You are the model that all society should be using to raise “our children”.
    I think Gail Finney should do her own research on the subject. She should be spanked by her superior for creating this bill. It should be done so that her peers are aware of it and she is humiliated. Let’s see if this creates a positive environment where she can reach her full potential. Obviously, this won’t happen. More than likely her superior will give her a “a little talking to”. She will be treated respectfully and it will be suggested that her ideas are misguided. If we guide her behavior with “head and heart” why can’t we guide the misguided behaviors of children who deserve no less.

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