Dear Governor Geringer:
While bursting prisons and murdered children are without doubt a testament to the devastation that results from child abuse, what could our society possibly gain by making it easier for an adult to beat a child?
Although I ask myself that question whenever I learn of legislation like Senate File 74, I have yet to find a sensible and satisfactory answer. What I do find is another question. Does the sanction to exchange bruises between a parent and child, extend to that child at age 50 to inflict bruises on his 80 year old mother?
In seeking to lighten up a little on adults who slap, pinch, whip and punch children, Senate File 74 further blurs the frayed line that exists between physical punishment that we excuse and physical punishment that we call abuse. We could entirely rid ourselves of the confusion by having zero tolerance for adults hitting children, just as we applaud policies of zero tolerance toward children who are violent at school.
I urge you to veto Senate File 74.