Christa Hargraves' letter to Wyoming Governor Geringer, March 18, 2002

Dear Governor Geringer,

I am a mother to two young boys with ADHD, I have a B.S. in Biology and I am a substitute teacher attending school to obtain my certification to teach in Texas. Even with the challenges I face raising these two boys, I would not want such leeway as to be able to bruise my children during discipline.

I have become aware of Senate File 74 and I felt it very necessary to express my feelings about the matter. I'll get right to the point.

In regards to the sentence "... minor bruising associated with reasonable corporal punishment...", there is NO BRUISING associated with "reasonable" corporal punishment. A "reasonable" spanking should not leave bruises. This phrase is so undefined as to make bruising children an acceptable part of discipline. This is not the way to raise human beings. ( I suspect that even the Animal Rights Activists would have something to say about this if it were happening to animals.) There should either be extremely detailed definitions of the meanings of "minor bruising" and "reasonable ...punishment" or else the qualification covering the type of bruising should simply be omitted. But no matter what definitions are available, the fact stands that bruising is causing damage. Even if the force used on a child is slight, so slight so as not to bruise a different child, if a bruise is left then damage has been done. Even if a child bruises easily, it is not acceptable to bruise that child. It simply is not fair to bruise a child, to damage those tissues, for the sake of teaching the child a lesson. There are so many dangers associated with corporal punishment and there are so many other options that should be tried first. We as a society would do better to educate adults about successful ways to discipline children rather than spend our time defining 'reasonable bruises'. Please consider all the consequences to our children if this wording remains unchanged. Thank you for all your efforts to protect our society.

Christa Hargraves
Beaumont, TX

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