The Law: The Court: Don't Spare the Rod

Over the years, the Supreme Court has declared that states must allow school children to express political opinions, to have a hearing before being suspended and to be free of prayer in the classroom. But last week, the high court refused an opportunity to intrude further into local control over education. In a 5-4 vote, the justices ruled that beatings administered by school authorities are not prohibited by the Eighth Amendment's ban against cruel and unusual punishment—even when they result in serious injury.

The case involved the 1970 punishment of a Bade County, Florida...

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