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-- THE ARCHIVE --


UNITED STATES
School CP - April 1910



Corpun file 19680

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The New York Times, 26 April 1910

May Pupils Be Flogged?

Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Corporal Punishment in Teacher's Suit


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WASHINGTON, April 25. -- Is the "tune of the hickory stick" in the teaching of readin' and ritin' and 'rithmetic to be given the moral support of the Supreme Court of the United States? That is a question it will decide between now and vacation days.

If the court gives its approval to this ancient method of discipline, Annie Kelley, an Illinois school mistress, will escape from a school squabble with no greater punishment than having been declared a bankrupt. If the court puts its foot down on corporal punishment, she probably will have to go to jail for flogging one of her pupils. Never before in the history of the court, it is said, has it been confronted with such a question.

In 1906, Miss Kelley was teaching in the primary department of the public schools of Tolono, Champaign County, Ill. According to the brief Miss Kelley has filed, Michael Burke, an eleven-year-old pupil, on Dec. 6, 1906, in the presence of the school, used indecent and profane language toward her, and struck and kicked her.

The Principal ordered her to chastise Michael, which she did, with a pointer. The Burkes brought suit for damages against her, alleging trespass and other things before the State courts, which found against Miss Kelley.

After the judgment was procured against her Miss Kelley was declared a bankrupt. She was arrested under an Illinois statute tor failure to satisfy the judgment. Going to the Federal courts for her discharge, the District Court found that it was not a debt incurred through willful and malicious injuries, but this judgment was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals.

Miss Kelley has now asked the Supreme Court to review her case.

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