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This bill would revise the definition of felonious child abuse to prohibit certain acts against a child. While most of the changes are not objectionable, one change would make it a crime to inflict physical pain or injury on a special needs education child or a child with a mental or physical disability, no matter what the diagnosis. This language is too broad and would subject a parent or teacher to 20 years in prison for minor corporal punishment of a child who had been willfully disobedient.
On 2/12/2013, the House amended this bill to allow reasonable corporal discipline by a parent with a special needs child. However, other persons such as special education teachers in public and nonpublic schools would still be subject to the law.
This bill should be opposed in its current form.
Passed the House 113-0. Passed the Senate 52-0. Sent to the governor. See "Bill History" link below.
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