NBC Evening News for Tuesday, Apr 19, 1977
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(Studio) Supreme Court rules Constitution doesn't prevent corporal punishment in schools. National PTA says ruling is incredible, American Federal of Teachers is pleased. Court rules if punishment carried to extreme, parents can still sue in state courts Case involved in decision originated in Miami, Florida.
REPORTER: David Brinkley
(Miami, Florida) Case began in 1970 after student paddled at Drew Middle School and parents took it to court; schools' policy of corporal punishment contd., but teachers afraid to apply it till today's ruling. [United Teachers of Dade Cnty. spokesperson Pat TORNILLO - says teachers now know they have right to keep classroom order and students will know they can't defy teacher and get away with it.] Nova University law professor Bruce Rogow, who argued against corporal punishment, says it doesn't give teachers free hand. [ROGOW - says civil and criminal action can still be taken to state courts] Rogow's client in case, James Ingraham, now serves time at county jail for assaulting police officer. Ingraham says he believes paddling in school made him resentful of authority and led to present trouble.
REPORTER: Fred Francis
(Shaker Heights, Ohio) In Shaker Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland, school policy doesn't allow corporal punishment and other Ohio systems discourage it. Supt. Jack Taylor says teachers may strike back if attacked, but can't use it as discipline. [TAYLOR - they feel there are other ways to punish students.] Parents say teachers shouldn't have to resort to it. [Claire PHILIP - says there should be parent-teacher communication before corporal punishment needed.] Teachers and admins. here are pleased with ruling.
REPORTER: Bob Kur