Saturday, November 28, 2009
Equal Protection Against School Corporal Punishment: Based On Admitted Lack Of Necessity
Admitted lack of necessity for school systems to use corporal -- admitted because the option is supposedly given to student (supposedly because outside circumstances often force the option against their will) is the easiest argument that physically beating violates 14th Amendment based equal protection of the law (against physically beating except in self defense).
The Equal Protection Clause was put in place to insure that 13th Amendment freed African Americans would not be treated as second-class citizens. Now children at school or home are the only class of persons exempted from normal criminal law protection against being painfully beaten with the paddle invented to torture slaves – while still sending them right back to labor.
There are two compelling motives that I know for exempting children at home from equal protection – neither of which has the slightest bearing on school administration:
First: keeping crackpot government rules and employees out of the familial sanctuary. Schools usually are the government – at least they are not the home.
Second – very esoteric psychological: children who get out of control of parents think nobody cares about them, don’t care about themselves (very strange, very true and very devastating) and become easy prey to every street temptation (talking robbery and burglary!). Boys remain fully in the emotionally dependent stage all the way until 18 1/2 (switches off over a week in my observation). Better for them to be beaten at home than to get totally out of (their own) control and end up behind bars – better for everyone else too. Teachers cannot have a supportive relationship with 25 or 500 kids.
If many equally situated schools admit no need for corporal punishment then the burden should be on schools which inflict on it’s kids what would be a serious criminal act on anyone else (e.g., adult convicts) to prove a compelling need. As I said above, schools that make it optional for students have no compelling interest case to make at all.
Fundamental right to equal protection against unbearably painful beatings = compelling interest needed to override this right. Roe v. Wade established this balancing precedent – a compelling interest test -- with the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. *
[ * Roe v. Wade side-stepped possible human life at any stage (admitted “judiciary is not in a position to determine when life begins”) which looks like a compelling state interest if ever there was one – switched off to “may not by adopting one theory of life override the rights”: a never heard of before or since "consensus test." Hint: medical consensus -- one week under which we find what Roe was hiding from.]
For a more comprehensive treatment click on: Corporal Punishment in Schools: Economic, Liable, Practical, Ethical, Constitutional?