ERIC Number: ED362373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
The Regulation of Corporal Punishment: Examining the Legal Context in Order To Clarify the Options for the Small or Rural School.
Rathbone, Charles H.; Hyman, Ronald T.
This paper examines legislation, court decisions, and state and local policies affecting the use of corporal punishment in schools, and speculates on the particular context presented by small or rural schools. There are no universally applicable federal statutes dealing with corporal punishment in schools. Decisions by the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts have found little constitutional protection with regard to either the punishment itself or due process and generally refer to the availability of alternative safeguards in state laws and common law tradition. A review of state laws reveals four relevant trends. Many states have outlawed or are moving toward outlawing corporal punishment in schools, or have enacted tough child abuse legislation. In the opposite direction, other states have imbued teachers with increased authority ("in loco parentis"), including the authority to discipline children, or have enacted "justification of force" statutes allowing teachers to use physical force in self-defense or when protecting persons or property. The context of small and rural schools makes them particularly vulnerable to the possibility of hidden or illicit corporal punishment. Factors enhancing this possibility include less supervisory oversight of teachers, fewer ancillary staff and visitors, limited budgets and space, and rural parental attitudes. This paper outlines suggestions for determining the practical effectiveness of a corporal-punishment regulation. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Creating the Quality School (2nd, Oklahoma City, OK, March 25-27, 1993).