The Nation: Spare Not the Rod

In its way, it was quite wonderful that such a relatively minor problem as children being spanked in public school should come before the U.S. Supreme Court (after all, in many schools today, the problem is not one of teachers assaulting children, but vice versa). The venerable practice, whose beneficial effect hardly anyone ever doubted until a couple of generations ago, was solemnly examined by the Justices. They permitted it to live on—with a few softening touches. The Justices upheld a three-man federal court in the case of Russell Baker of Gibsonville, N.C. Two years ago, as a sixth-grader, he was...

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