On January 8, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court declined hear a challenge to corporal punishment in schools as brought forth in the case of an 11-year-old Louisiana girl with nonverbal autism whose parents alleged that she was slapped on her hands three different times by school staff.

Lower courts threw out the student’s case due to precedential rulings in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit —which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas — that aver that as long as a state provides an adequate remedy for excessive corporal punishment, the student’s parent(s) may not sue under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause and the 5th Circuit has ruled that all three states provide such an adequate remedy.

Previously, on April 19, 1977 in Ingraham v. Wright the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that corporal punishment in public schools did not fall within the scope of the “cruel and unusual punishments” clause of the Eighth Amendment and did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of procedural due process.

Click to see more on this case on corporal punishment.

Source: Education Week.