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Corporal Punishment (School Law Cases and Concepts, p. 154 -161) Michelle Duke MED 6490 February 2, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Corporal Punishment (School Law Cases and Concepts, p. 154 -161) Michelle Duke MED 6490 February 2, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Corporal Punishment (School Law Cases and Concepts, p. 154 -161) Michelle Duke MED 6490 February 2, 2010

2 Definition: the use of such physical contact as striking, paddling, or spanking of a student by an educator. Proponents - a necessary and educationally sound disciplinary measure Opponents - an archaic, cruel, inhumane, unjustifiable act on the part of the state

3 Ingraham v. Wright Supreme Court of the United States,1977 430 U.S. 651 Issues: 1.whether or not corporal punishment represented cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment 2.whether or not prior notice and an opportunity to be heard were required

4 Setting: 1970 - 71 School Year Dade County, Florida Many of the 237 schools used corporal punishment as a means of maintaining discipline, pursuant to Florida legislation and a local school board regulation The regulation contained explicit directions and limitations Standard paddle Five licks Viewed by school authorities as less drastic than suspension or expulsion

5 Contrary to the procedural requirements of the statute and regulation, teachers often paddled students on their own authority without first consulting the principal.

6 Because he was slow to respond to his teacher’s instructions, Ingraham was subjected to more than 20 licks. *suffered a hematoma that required medical attention and kept him out of school for several days Andrews was paddled several times for minor infractions. On two occasions he was struck on his arms, once depriving him of the full use of his arm for a week. Ingraham Andrews

7 Despite the abandonment of this practice as a means of punishing criminal offenders, it continues to play a role in the public education of schoolchildren in most parts of the country. No trend towards its elimination. Teachers may impose reasonable but not excessive force to discipline a child. To the extent that the force is excessive or unreasonable, the educator in virtually all States is subject to possible civil and criminal liability. Corporal punishment dates back to the colonial period.

8 Of the 23 states that have addressed the problem through legislation, 21 have authorized the moderate use of corporal punishment in public schools. Only two states (Massachusetts and New Jersey) have prohibited all corporal punishment in their public schools.

9 Delaware Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Law Code SectionTit. 14, § 701 Punishment Allowed Teachers may exercise same authority as parents, including the administration of corporal punishment where deemed necessary in accordance with district board of education policy.

10 AT THIS TIME…  The practice has been banned by 29 states (including Delaware and Maryland)  The 21 states that allow some form of corporal punishment: Alabama IndianaOhio Arizona KansasOklahoma Arkansas KentuckyPennsylvania Colorado LouisianaSouth Carolina Florida MississippiTennessee Georgia New MexicoTexas Idaho North CarolinaWyoming

11 Holding Florida has continued to recognize the common-law right of a child not to be subjected to excessive corporal punishment in school. Under Florida law the teacher and principal decide whether corporal punishment is necessary. They must exercise prudence and restraint.

12 Legal Doctrine Ingraham was a 5-4 decision affirming that teachers may inflict corporal punishment.

13 Garcia v. Miera 817 F.2d 650 (10th Cir. 1987) A federal appellate court held that excessive force used for corporal punishment is a violation of substantive due process. Although Ingraham makes clear that ordinary corporal punishment does not violate due process, at some degree of excessiveness or cruelty such punishment DOES violate the substantive due process rights of the pupil.

14 “ Shock the conscience” standard Gottlieb v. Laurel Hills School District, 272 F.3d 168 (3rd Cir. 2001) –The court upheld a lower court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of the school district. Harris v. Robinson, 273 F.3d 927 (10th Cir. 2001) –The court upheld the summary judgment in favor of the teacher and the school district.

15 As mentioned in Ingraham, a remedy for what is perceived as excessive corporal punishment is a civil or criminal lawsuit. Commonwealth v. Douglass, 588 A.2d 53 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1991) –a private school principal was sentenced to 12 months probation, 150 hours of community service, and a $500 fine for having inflicted “extreme pain” during the administration of 50 - 60 swats.

16 NCLB Act Limitation on Liability for Teachers –If acting within the scope of the teacher’s employment –If actions were within federal, state, and local laws –If the teacher was properly certified –If the harm was not caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed by the teacher

17 The bottom line…… Corporal punishment is banned in 29 states, including Delaware and Maryland.

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