Every time I begin to think that Republican conservatives couldn’t possibly sink any lower, they manage to surprise me. I mean, between their “stop the steal” propaganda, their white and fragile war on critical race theory and “wokeness,” their love for blaming Democrats for slavery and the KKK while also being fierce protectors of Confederate monuments and white nationalism, and their anti-diversity and inclusion bigotry, I just felt like I couldn’t have a lower opinion of these people.
Then they started actively making arguments FOR beating disabled children.
To be fair, it was Republican lawmaker Rep. John Talley of Stillwater, Oklahoma, who authored House Bill 1028, which would prohibit corporal punishment in schools for students with disabilities. According to Fox 25, Oklahoma is one of 19 states in America that still allows corporal punishment in schools because conservatives hold on to archaic and abusive “traditions” just like they hold onto the flags and monuments that celebrate said “traditions.”
“For the most part it means that you bend over and someone uses a board to hit you on the behind,” Talley said while recalling his own experience with physically abusive “educators.”
“It can really hurt because I had it used on me when I was a kid,” he added.
But Talley’s bill wouldn’t even have applied to all children as it should have. It only pertained to students with disabilities and even THAT wasn’t a no-brainer for the party of no brains.
Meet Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Olsen. (Not to be confused with Joel Osteen although he’s pretty much a more evil version of Osteen with legislative power.)
Olsen is one of 43 Oklahoma House Republicans who voted no on prohibiting school faculty from inflicting violence on children with disabilities. And to justify his position, he resorted to bible verses that have no place in government even if Olsen presented them with any real context, which he didn’t. He also conjured up a likely imaginary friend who conveniently found that physically abusing their (again, probably fictional) special needs child got them a positive response from said abuse victim.
“Proverbs 13:24, ‘he that spareth his rod hateth his son: But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.’ So it tells us that if you will not use the rod on a disobedient child, you do not love that child,” Rep. Olsen said.
I know hard-right conservatives are among the worst people in the world, but even I didn’t have a Republican arguing, “You don’t love your kid if you’re not leaving belt marks on their hind parts” on my Conservatives are Cray-Cray bingo card.
“I had a constituent that called me…He was upset because he had a special needs child, and what he told me was that this child did not respond to positive motivation, but that she responded very well to corporal punishment,” Olsen went on to claim.
Even if Olsen was telling the truth, another way to word his little anecdote is: “My constituent confessed to me that they beat their special needs child into obedience, and instead of going to Child Protective Services with this information, I went to the House floor to say ‘Hey, maybe it’s a good idea to allow parents to beat their special needs children into obedience.'”
Olsen wasn’t the only pro-child abuse Republican to throw his name in the hat to be a recipient of the “Joe Jackson Was Right” award.
Meet Republican Rep. Randy Randleman. (Don’t laugh, that’s his real name. Please don’t act like we don’t all know a Daniel Danielson from Danielsville.)
Randleman—who has worked in the mental health field and in 155 school districts, according to Fox 25—must have been trying to one-up Olsen’s ridiculousness while proving that, despite his work history, he shouldn’t be allowed access to school children or people with mental health issues.
This man might as well have stood up on the House floor and asked, “OK, but we can still beat the hell out of kids with dyslexia, right? I mean, obviously, they don’t count, correct?”
“A child could have dyslexia, and then you couldn’t spank him, correct?” Randlemen inquired, to which Talley responded that the bill would prohibit teachers from spaning dyslexic kids.
“I would never spank an emotional problem, I would never spank a neurological problem,” Randlemen continued while appearing to argue that parents should still have the right to hit their kids if all the kid has is a learning disorder. Unfortunately, Talley’s only response to that was to reassure Randleman that his bill only applies to teachers and that he still perfectly within his right to go to the school, take his child home, and “do what you need to do,” which, in this case, means—*checks notes*—hit your child as long as they’re just a little dyslexic.
Ultimately, the bill failed on Tuesday because too many Republican lawmakers like their child abuse with a side of ableism.
The vote on the bill was 45-43 in favor of its passage, meaning most lawmakers present today voted to ban the punishment.
But in the House, they need a majority of all lawmakers – which is 51 votes – in order to pass a bill, so it ultimately failed.
Talley did ask for the bill to be brought up again sometimes next week when more representatives are on the floor.
Again, to be fair, Talley wasn’t the only Republican who supported the measure. Rep. Anthony Moore is one Republican who debated in favor of the bill and thought like any decent human being would that it was common sense legislation. But he eventually had to admit that he had grossly underestimated how egregiously deplorable his party is.
OK, he didn’t say all that.
“I told the author that number one I would co-author this with him, but that this would be an easy bill to carry because there’s nobody who’s going to be for corporal punishment on students with disabilities,” Moore said. “I apologize to the author because apparently, I was wrong.”
Corporal Punishment: It’s Time To Admit That Beating Kids Isn’t The Solution To Crime
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