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Law and Econ
Transcript of Law and Econ
Willie J. Wright
Principal of the Drew Junior High School.
Was sued for violating James Ingraham's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment.
Reasoning for punishment was that his teacher accused him of failing to promptly leave the school auditorium's stage when asked.
Claims that the punishment was only five swats with a paddle.
Solomon Barnes was the principal's assistant (secretary) of the middle school.
Lemmi Deliford was the assistant principal of the middle school.
Both men restrained James Ingraham during his punishment.
Neither were sued by James Ingraham and his mother.
U.S. Supreme Court in 1977
Cartoon of Corporal Punishment Being Threatened
Picture of a Man Punishing a Child
Dade County, Florida
Punishment occurred in 1970
Complaint made in 1971
Argued on November 2, 1976
Decided on April 19, 1977
Violation of Rights
Not only did Ingraham feel like his Eighth Amendment Right was violated, but his Fourteenth Amendment Right was also.
The Fourteenth Amendment is to make sure that people have a hearing, explanation, and notice before punishment is enforced.
The Court also stated that the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply to students, and that teachers and faculty did not have to warn students if a punishment was to occur.
Ninth grade student when the punishment occurred.
Also paddled by the principal and staff
Received blows to his arm
Filed a complaint with James Ingraham in 1971 to the District Court.
Could not be pictured because he was a minor at the time.
Fourteen year old, eighth grade student at Drew Junior High School.
Punished with a wooden paddle by the principal and restrained by the assistant principal and a secretary.
Ingraham was hit more than twenty times and required medical attention.
Ingraham had to miss ten days of school because of a hematoma that was made from the punishment.
James and his mother sued the principal for violating his rights.
Soloman Barnes and Lemmi Deliford
District Court dismissed the complaint made by James Ingraham and Roosevelt Andrews in 1971.
The Court of Appeals upheld this decision
Case brought to the Supreme Court in 1976
There were no laws protecting students from beatings in school at the time, nor were there laws that made it clear to staff members what cruel and usual punishment was.
Today, twenty-two states still permit corporal punishment in public schools.
The other twenty-eight have banned it due to cruel and unusual punishment.
Peyton Clair, Dom Varrati, Kayla Morrill
The vote was 5-4 in Wright's favor
Justices held that the 8th Amendment only applies to people of those of a crime.
Ruled that corporal punishment did not violate the due process clause
Court now tolerates physical punishment in public schools
Requirement has to be reasonable and not excessive
Courts must take in account the age of the child and the type of punishment when making the decision whether the punishment is reasonable or unjust.
Written by Lewis Powell
Written by Byron White