Non-thorny substitute for barberry?

Non-thorny substitute for barberry?

Help! We had to pull out several large rhodies at our church and now plans are in the works for new plants in the blank spots - problem is the chap planning seems to have his heart set on small burgundy-colored shrubs along part of it and wants to put in barberry! We have a preschool (little kids to be poked) and elderly ladies who help trim and keep it neat (poke ow!)... I see no reason plant something so non-user-friendly, but doubt I can dissuade him unless I can offer an alternative that still has that color. Can anyone think of burgundy/red colored shrubs that don't grow too terribly huge? I'm zone 7, in Oregon, and the site is sun/part shade. Thanks!
The garden – part of

The garden – part of

First time poster!

First time poster!

Spring in bloom!

Spring in bloom!

VERY picture heavy.. Beware!

VERY picture heavy.. Beware!

Wild plant ID?

Wild plant ID?

Today’s harvest.

Today’s harvest.