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Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479894147

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479894147.001.0001

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Willful Disobedience

Willful Disobedience

Young People and School Authority in the Nineteenth-Century United States

(p.125) 6 Willful Disobedience
Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

James D. Schmidt

NYU Press

This chapter examines the issue of corporal punishment in schools and how it was challenged by both children and parents in the courts during the nineteenth century. Focusing on court cases pitting and their families vs. schools and school teachers, it considers questions about school authority and how these clashes shaped daily expressions of power in the modern school system. It also suggests that these litigations reveal conflicts embedded not only in class and gender but also in contested notions of the role of education in a democratic society. Finally, it explains how student and parent resistance to corporal punishment led to increasing reliance on suspensions and expulsions as means of school governance by the early twentieth century.

Keywords:   corporal punishment, schools, children, parents, court cases, school authority, education, suspensions, expulsions, school governance

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