Mary W. Altier


Corporal punishment as a means of disciplining school children has been used in this country since colonial days. There have been various constitutional attacks on the practice of inflicting corporal punishment, with varying results, and the issue was finally brought before the Supreme Court in Ingraham v. Wright. The Court decided on April 19, 1977 that the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the eighth amendment does not apply to disciplinary corporal punishment in public schools and that the Due Process Clause of the fourteenth amendment does not require notice and hearing prior to imposition of corporal punishment, as that practice is authorized and limited by the common law.