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Warsaw Daily Times, Indiana, 18 December 1897, p.1
Dug Up an Old Law
And Now the Troublesome "Kids" Are Paddled According to Statute.
Muncie Style of Using the Rod.
Muncie, Ind., Dec. 18. - The old law concerning corporal punishment in the public schools, enacted by the state legislature years ago, which has been considered a dead-letter for several decades, has been revived by the local school board and is now in vogue in the city schools. A pupil had been laid across a seat and rather severely punished, but the evidence before the justice of the peace who tried the case showed that he was disobedient and deserved unusually strong treatment. The teacher was acquitted of the charge of assault and battery, which had been preferred against him by the boy's mother. However, there was such strong feeling against severe punishment that the school board ordered the rigid enforcement of the old law, long forgotten. The teachers, many of them, did not know of the existence of the law and had to look it up under the direction of attorneys.
Provisions of the Old Law.
It provides that incorrigible pupils may be punished if their parents consent, but if the latter decline to permit their children to be treated thus, then the pupils must be expelled from school. In punishing the victim must not be placed across a seat or chair, but must be placed across one's lap. The paddle to be used must be of "light" material as to weight, one and one-half inches wide and one-eighth of an inch thick. It may be applied vigorously, but not laid on too severely. In most cases the parents or guardians consent to the punishment but are careful that the rules concerning its appliance are strictly observed. A few, however, have taken their children out of school rather than have them paddled.
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