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!
Question and Pictures

Question and Pictures

Identification

Identification

My room.

My room.

Peektures!

Peektures!

March of Months

March of Months

Furniture Arrangement

Furniture Arrangement