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School CP - October 1975

Corpun file 23819

Miami News, Florida, 20 October 1975, p.10

Teachers reign over parents on spanking

Combined Miami News Services

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled today that public school teachers may spank a pupil against the wishes of the child's parents.

The court affirmed without comment a decision of a three-judge federal court in North Carolina upholding corporal punishment and spelling out procedures to be followed.

Florida law and Dade School Board policy already permit paddling in public schools under guidelines similar to those contained in today's decision. Parental permission, while taken into consideration in Dade, neither is requested nor required before a child can be paddled.

The lower court said the pupil must be informed beforehand that specific punishment might cause a spanking and that a written explanation should be furnished to a parent on request.

It also required that paddling not be resorted to unless other means of discipline had failed, and that a second school officer must witness the punishment.

The decision was appealed by Virginia Baker of Greensboro, N.C., on behalf of herself and her son, Russell, a sixth grader who was paddled in December, 1973 for throwing a kickball outside of designated play time. She said she had asked school authorities not to use corporal punishment because she was opposed to it and Russell was a frail child.

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