A. Suspension and Expulsion-- procedural and substantive due process issues
B. Corporal Punishment--
the willful and deliberate infliction of physical pain on the person of another to modify undesirable behavior
It includes a wide variety of methods such as hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, pinching, shaking, choking, use of various objects (wooden paddles, belts, sticks, pins, or others), painful body postures, use of electric shock, use of excessive exercise drills
Fourth, Eighth, Fourteenth Amendments?
Ingraham v. Wright --two students had been paddled and spanked by school administrators pursuant to a school policy authorizing corporal punishment. The students brought suit claiming, among other things, that the school's application of corporal punishment violated their substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The former Fifth Circuit rejected that claim, explaining that "the plaintiffs' right to substantive due process is a guaranty against arbitrary legislation, demanding that the law not be unreasonable and that the means selected shall have a real and substantial relation to the object sought to be attained
Garcia v. Meyers -The Tenth Circuit Court stating that "we believe that Ingraham requires us to hold that, at some point, excessive corporal punishment violates the pupil's substantive due process rights --(remanding for trial a case in which a 9-year-old girl was held up by her ankles and hit with a board on the front of her legs until they bled, resulting in a permanent scar).
Fee v. Herndon--Parents of a special education student who allegedly received excessive corporal punishment by the school's principal brought a § 1983 action against the school district and various educators, including the special education teacher who allegedly failed to intervene in the corporal punishment. The District Court for the Southern District of Texas, granted defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and parents appealed. The Court of Appeals,, held that:
1) Texas law afforded adequate post punishment civil and criminal remedies, and
2) Texas law did not impose upon the teacher a duty to intervene
in the corporal punishment.
In Cunningham v. Beavers, two kindergarten children
were beaten for "snickering." Each child was forcibly
administered five licks from a wooden paddle. The beating was
so severe that local child welfare authorities characterized
the punishment as child abuse. Despite the severity of the injuries,
the Fifth Circuit Court, relying on Ingraham, held that
the punishment did not rise to such a level that it implicated
the children's substantive due process rights.
C. Academic Sanctions--when academic sanctions are used as a response to nonacademic behavior
challenged in three ways:
Slocum v. Holton--Mich ct app - challenging board's attendance policy which permitted letter grade reductions of students who, having certain number of excused absences, failed to attend mandatory after-hours study sessions.
The Court of Appeals held that: (1) attendance policy was
within board's authority; (2) policy did not implicate liberty
or property interest of student deserving of constitutional protection;
and (3) even assuming student had constitutionally protected
liberty or property interest, attendance policy did not violate
student's right to substantive or procedural due process.
New Braunfels v. Armke--Two high school seniors sought to enjoin school district from imposing a scholastic penalty on them which have resulted in each student receiving zeros on all graded class work for each day of a three-day suspension for using alcohol on a school-sponsored trip, as well as having three grade points deducted for each day of the suspension from their six-week grade averages then accruing.
The 2 District Court, entered a declaratory judgment in students' favor and permanently enjoined school district from reducing their grade averages or from imposing any additional disciplinary penalty, and school district appealed.
Court of Appeals, held that:
Katzman v. Cumberland Valley --. Deborah Katzman, an eleventh grade student at Cumberland Valley, Pennsylvania High School, drank a glass of wine with four classmates in a New York City restaurant while on a field trip with her Humanities class. , she was suspended for five days, expelled from the cheerleading squad, prohibited from taking part in school activities for five days, and permanently expelled from the NHS
Parents brought action on behalf of student to challenge action of school board in reducing student's earned grades for disciplinary reasons.
held that policy adopted by school board when it determined
to discipline a student for an infraction unrelated to education
by reducing her grades in each subject for entire second marking
period by ten points, two for each day of suspension, without
affording student the option of choosing Saturday work as an
alternative, amounted to a clear misrepresentation of student's
scholastic achievement for college entrance and other purposes
and, as such, represented an illegal application of school board's