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INGRAHAM V. WRIGHT.  James Ingraham and Roosevelt Andrews of Drew Junior High in Dade County, Florida  Three counts: two for individual damages, and.

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Presentation on theme: "INGRAHAM V. WRIGHT.  James Ingraham and Roosevelt Andrews of Drew Junior High in Dade County, Florida  Three counts: two for individual damages, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 INGRAHAM V. WRIGHT

2  James Ingraham and Roosevelt Andrews of Drew Junior High in Dade County, Florida  Three counts: two for individual damages, and one class action lawsuit  Defendants: Willie Wright (Principle), the assistant principle, and the district superintendent

3 INGRAHAM V. WRIGHT  Brought the issue of corporal punishment to the legal and nation level  U.S Supreme Court considered whether the act of paddling violated: 1. Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment 2. Fourteenth Amendment right to due process

4 INGRAHAM V. WRIGHT  Ingraham received 20 “licks” with a paddle and suffered a hematoma  Andrews was paddled several times for minor infractions

5 BACKGROUND INFORMATION  At the time, many of the schools in Dade County used corporal punishment in accordance with Florida state law  Flat wooden paddle measuring less than 2 feet long, 3-4 inches wide, and about ½ an inch thick  The school board policy contained specific instructions  Drew Junior High punishment was considered to be exceptionally harsh

6 COURT FINDINGS  Class action suit: the court found that it did not violate any constitutional rights  Individual damages: a jury could not lawfully find the punishment severe enough to be considered “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eight Amendment

7 DECISION REVERSED  Fifth Circuit reversed the decision  Found the beatings “excessive” and decided the punishment could violate the Eighth Amendment  Risks of physical and psychological harm, availability of alternative methods of discipline  Due Process

8 REVERSED AGAIN  Eighth Amendment only applies to punishment imposed for crimes  Misuse of judicial power  Long accepted practice with utility and value  Children do not need Eight Amendment protection

9 CURRENT PRACTICES  Source of debate in the U.S.  Legal in 19 states  Approximately 15,000 students seek medical treatment every year  Illegal in every developed nation except the U.S. and parts of Canada  Decline has slowed in recent years (Dingus & Dupper, 2008; The Center for Effective Discipline, 2008)

10 CURRENT PRACTICES StateNumber of students hit Alabama33,716 Arkansas22,314 Florida7,185 Georgia18,249 Louisiana11,080 Missouri5,159 Mississippi38,131 Oklahoma14,828 Tennessee14,868 Texas49,197 (The Center For Effective Discipline, 2008)

11 CURRENT PRACTICES  Defined as “physical pain inflicted on the body of a child as a penalty for disapproved behavior”  Can include hitting, spanking, paddling, & the use of other objects  Used more frequently with boys, low-income children, minorities, and in rural areas (Hyman, 1978; Sacks, 2009)

12 RESEARCH ON CP  “The use of frequent and harsh physical punishment is not effective and can have detrimental effects”  Antisocial behavior  Aggression and violence  Decreased cognitive development  Delinquent behavior  Substance abuse  Suicidal ideations  Immediate compliance (Hicks-Pass 2009; Sacks, 2009)

13 RESEARCH ON CP  Easily abused, leads to physical injuries, and can cause serious emotional harm  No evidence that it leads to better classroom control, enhances moral development in children, or increases children’s respect for authority figures  Does not show child the correct behavior  Does not produce changes in behavior  Shows children that violence is acceptable (Fina, 1983; Smith, 2002)

14 RESEARCH ON CP  94% of children experience corporal punishment  Few actually experience severe negative outcomes  The more strongly and more often children experience it, the more likely they are to experience negative outcomes  Positive reinforcement has been found to be more effective (Bethesda, 2006; Gershoff, 2002)

15 EFFECTS ON BEHAVIOR  Longitudinal study on 1,000 children  Measured the quality of their home environment, behavior, and temperament at different points in time  Corporal punishment was found to be associated with increased behavior problems in toddlerhood and first grade  Effects can be cumulative (Mebert, 2007)

16 WAYS TO HELP STOP CORPORAL PUNISHMENT  Assume a leadership role  Educate school administrators and teachers  Advocate for student rights  Advocate for alternative/preventative methods  Contribute to research (Bethesda, 2006; Dingus & Dupper, 2008)

17 ALTERNATIVES  Prevention and Intervention Programs  Establish clear behavior expectations and guidelines  Enforce rules with consistency, fairness, and calmness  Focus on student success  Provide social skills training, conflict resolution skills, anger-management, and problem-solving training  Facilitate early detection and intervention  Behavioral intervention programs (Bethesda, 2006; Smith 2002)

18 EFFECTS ON SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY  Both NASP and APA reject its use  Work within the system  Ethical dilemma

19 REFLECTION  Paved the way for lower courts to avoid cases involving corporal punishment  If parents had done it, child abuse charges would have been filed  Children who are incarcerated enjoy constitutional protection from corporal punishment, as do adult criminals  Corporal punishment is banned in prisons & mental health institutions  Children are the only population that it acceptable to hit by law  Even if risks are low, why risk it?

20 JOKES…  Why was the math book so unhappy?  How do you organize a space party?

21 REFERENCES Dingus, A. E., Dupper, D. R., (2008). Corporal punishment in U.S. public schools: A continuing challenge for school social workers. Children & Schools. 30(4), Fina, A., Hyman, I. A. (1983). The National Center for the Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternative in the Schools: Moving from policy formation to implementation. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 12(3), Gershoff, E. T., (2002). Corproal Punishment, Physical Abuse, and the Burden of Proof. Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), Hicks-Pass, S. (2009). Corporal punishment in America today: Spare the rod, spoil the child? A systematic review of the literature. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 5(2), Hyman, I. R., (1978). A social science review of evidence cited in litigation on punishment in the schools. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 7(3), Ingraham v. Wright, U.S. 651, 97 S.Ct. 1401, 51 L.Ed.2d 711. Supreme court ruling April, Retrieved November 18, 2012 from Westlaw Campus Research. Mebert, C. J., Mulvaney, M. K.. (2007). Parental corporal punishment predicts behavior problems in early childhood. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(3), National Association of School Psychologists. (2006). Corporal punishment. (Position Statement). Retrieved on November 18, 2012 from CorporalPunishment.pdf (Bethesda, MD: Author) The Center for Effective Discipline. (2008). Corrporal Punishment in Public Schools, By State. Retieved on November 19, 2012 from Smith, D. (2002). Journal Article reignites debate over corporal punishment. Monitor on Psychology, 33(8), 8. Sacks, D. P., (2009). State Actors Beating Children: A Call For Judicial Relief. University of California, Davis, School of Law, 42(4),


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