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Ingraham v. Wright (1977)

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Jiaqi Jiang

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Ingraham v. Wright (1977)

Jiaqi Jiang
Ingraham v. Wright (1977)
Discussion No.1
Whether the use of corporal punishment violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause; and if so, whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that prior notice and an opportunity to be heard must be afforded students before corporal punishment is imposed.
Two main issues
In the 1970s, Florida Law allowed corporal punishment - with paddles - to be used to discipline students. The paddles were required to be flat, less than 2 ft long, 4 in wide and 1/2 in thick. Teachers were only allowed to paddle students on the bottom 5 times.
Facts of the Case
The parents of the student is this case sued the school district because they said that their children had been paddled in school an excessive amount of times with an excessive force.
James Ingraham
and Roosevelt Andrews
  eighth-grade student

Principal Willie J Wright, assistant Principals Lemmie Deliford and Solomon Barnes, and Superintendent Edward L Whigham.

Thank You
Does the action that an eighth-grade student was paddled for 20 times is cruel and unusual???

United States District Court

the Court of Appeals
en banc
U.S. Supreme Court

Eighth Amendment
Discussion No.2
Does due process require notice to students before corporal punishment is imposed?

Fourteenth Amendment
The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War.

With respect to the first issue:

As to the second issue:
Impact on Society
After the Supreme Court ruled that corporal punishment in schools did not go against the 8th and 14th amendments, the court seemed no longer interested in the issue. The anti-corporal punishment movement died down.
Each state is given the power to decide if corporal punishment is allowed in schools, and Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee are three of the twenty states that allow paddling.
Impact on Society
Paddling and spanking children as punishment is seen by many to be an outdated act that in no way improves behavior. On the other hand, others say that with the way children's attitudes have worsened, it is necessary to instill fear in them. Though corporal punishment does not violate any human rights according to the Supreme Court, schools must abide by paddling regulations and not use excessive force.
It is a bad idea that to hurt a child to correct them. Violence does not give a good example.

The Eighth Amendment is applicable only to criminal punishments
In the majority opinion, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., wrote that “the prisoner and the schoolchild stand in wholly different circumstances, separated by the harsh facts of criminal conviction and incarceration.” 
the Supreme Court ruled that the imposition of corporal punishment is consistent with the Due Process Clause; therefore, notice and a hearing are not required prior to imposition of corporal punishment.
In reaching its decision, the court gave great weight to the historical tradition of corporal punishment in public schools in the United States
Due process
A course of legal proceedings according to rules and principles that have been established in a system of jurisprudence for the enforcement and protection of private rights.
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