Ingraham v. Wright

Ingraham vs. Wright (1977)



A student, Ingraham, from Dade County, Florida claimed that he was given twenty licks from a paddle that was two feet by four feet by one and a half inches. This was his punishment for being too slow for responding to teachers orders. His orders were to get off the auditorium stage. Witnesses were in the auditorium, but they disagreed on the number of licks that Ingraham recieved. The principal claimed that the number had been around five licks, and that the punishment wasn’t meant to be cruel or humilating. After the licks Ingraham had several bruises and wasn’t able to attend school for eleven days.(C. and P, 1)

One of the issues concerning the court was the eighth amendment. It states “ that cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited.” ( McClenaghan, 772) Although the admendment doesn’t apply to paddling in school, the United States Supreme Court stated that the amendment is meant to protect people convicted of crimes against the state and not students with disciplinary problems.
The supreme court also states that schools are just institutions where students can leave at the end of the day. Justice Powell was the judge of this court case. He said that the eighth amendment didn’t apply to this court case, although parents did have the right to sue for damages in the state courts.

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