Sunday, March 2, 2014


Representative Gail Finney

Rep. Gail Finney of Wichita, Kansas is  a Democrat.  Just getting that out there.  Stupidity is not limited to a single political party.  In case you haven't heard, this state rep introduced legislation in Kansas, which would have allowed parents to discipline (hit) children hard enough to leave redness and bruising.  It would have allowed parents to give that same authority to teachers and other caregivers. (KANSAS HOUSE BILL 2699)

Leaving a bruise with your open hand on the butt of a child is beating.  Beating.

1. belabor, batter, drub, maul, baste, pommel, cudgel, buffet, flog. Beat, hit, pound, strike, thrash refer to the giving of a blow or blows. Beat implies the giving of repeated blows: to beat a rug.  To hit is usually togive a single blow, definitely directed: to hit a ball.  (

In defense of her foolish proposal, Finney posted a statement on her website declaring the legislation “is not, as has been incorrectly reported, intended to legalize child abuse in Kansas.”  I am sure glad that she cleared that up because it almost sounded like she was in favor of allowing parents to beat their children and to allow their teachers, daycare workers, after school care workers, babysitters, little league baseball coaches, piano teachers - or anyone else deemed a caregiver - the right to beat their child.

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Finney said the bill was intended to “provide guidance to officials … serve as a guideline to parents, and protect children from abuse.”  I am glad that she cleared that one up as well.  Because making it perfectly legal to strike a child on the bottom hard enough to leave bruises might be considered to be beating to some people.  If she hadn't explained that, her constituents might have thought she was condoning violence toward children.  

As a type of hematoma, a bruise is always caused by internal bleeding into the interstitial tissues which does not break through the skin, usually initiated by blunt trauma, which causes damage through physical compression and deceleration forces. (Wikipedia)

It is  challenge to poke fun at Finney.  It's not funny.  And I can't do a better job of making her look the fool than she does so successfully herself.

“What’s happening is there are some children that are very defiant and they’re not minding their parents, they’re not minding school personnel,” Finney said Tuesday.  “What it (the proposed law) does is it tries to give a definition. … But it does not allow hitting, punching, beating, because that is still considered abuse.” (The Wichita Eagle
If an adult did this to another adult, unless it was clearly in self defense, he or she would probably end up in detention awaiting trial.  Because adults shouldn't be able to beat each other and get away with it.  Makes sense.   In the adult world, this behavior is called ... 

...Battery, a class B misdemeanor, is “knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person or … causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner.”
Yeah, there are laws against it.  In Kansas too.  On February 20, the bill died in committee.  It didn't even get a hearing.  
Here are a few of the reasons why beating children in the name of discipline is cruel and ignorant.  These were published by NCACPS.
  1. It perpetuates a cycle of child abuse. It teaches children to hit someone smaller and weaker when angry.
  2. Injuries occur. Bruises are common. Broken bones are not unusual. Children's deaths have occurred in the U.S. due to school corporal punishment.
  3. Corporal punishment is used much more often on poor children, minorities, children with disabilities, and boys.
  4. Schools are the only institutions in America in which striking another person is legally sanctioned. It is not allowed in prisons, in the military or in mental hospitals.
  5. Educators and school boards are sometimes sued when corporal punishment is used in their schools.
  6. Schools that use corporal punishment often have poorer academic achievement, more vandalism, truancy, pupil violence and higher drop out rates.
  7. Corporal punishment is often not used as a last resort. It is often the first resort for minor misbehaviors.
  8. Many alternatives to corporal punishment have proven their worth. Alternatives teach children to be self-disciplined rather than cooperative only because of fear.
But no one can say it like John Stewart.
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