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Sunday, February 16, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Principal feels ‘no remorse’ after spanking puts student in hospital

“The time had come when it was necessary to punish him severely or let him do as he pleased,” said principal E. Clyde Miller. “All other means had been exhausted.” (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
“The time had come when it was necessary to punish him severely or let him do as he pleased,” said principal E. Clyde Miller. “All other means had been exhausted.” (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Medell Cozzeti, 14, was treated at the emergency hospital for welts on his back, neck and shoulders, inflicted in a spanking by his principal at the Bancroft School.

Cozzetti, the son of a local tailor, said the trouble began when he didn’t know his lesson and didn’t pay attention in language and spelling. His teacher took him to the principal, and a brief tussle ensued. Then principal E. Clyde Miller took an 11-inch-long strap and proceeded to “lick” him with it, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

Miller said he felt “no remorse” for punishing the boy.

“The time had come when it was necessary to punish him severely or let him do as he pleased,” Miller said. “All other means had been exhausted.”

He said the boy had been causing trouble all term and had “used the vilest language.”

“Because of the way he was fighting, I hit him in places I did not intend to,” said the principal. “At the same time, I was careful to hit him in such a manner that no serious injury would result.”

The boy told reporters he “fought back as much as I could, but I couldn’t do much.”

The deputy prosecutor refused to issue an arrest warrant for Miller, and the school board stood behind Miller. The principal said it was one of the few times he had done this.

“As a rule, I do not believe in severe methods,” he said.

From the weather beat: The fuel-saving six-hour business day ended because the weather was improving and the coal shortage was easing. Authorities warned the restrictions might return if there was another brutal cold snap.

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