January 1, 1914 - Idaho County Free Press




Seems Teacher Was a Little Too Severe in Punishment of Young Huffman—Will Continue: Head of School.

  The preliminary examination of C. W. Drake, the teacher of the Red Rock schools, who was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, was held before Probate Judge DeHaven this week, two days being consumed in the examination.  Late Tuesday afternoon, through the efforts of a number of the citizens of the school district in which the trouble occurred, the charge was dismissed and one of battery substituted and the defense signified willingness to submit the case without introducing testimony.

  The court found the defendant guilty and assessed a fine of $25 and costs, the defendant later agreeing to pay half of the medical bill incurred in treating the boy.  This seems to have been a sensible way to dispose of the case and it is hoped by those who were instrumental in bringing about the adjustment that the school will continue without further friction.   The settlement effects only the present case and does not prevent the bringing of any other charges which may be preferred before the board.

 The first days testimony was substantially as follows:

  The examination of witnesses covered the customs of Mr. Drake in the school room as to ascertaining the identity of pupils guilty of violating the rules but the school appears to be divided as to whether Leslie Huffman, the boy upon whom the assault is alleged to have been committed, was guilty of the violation at the time of the assault.  There was also some conflict in the testimony as to what was used to administer the punishment, but the preponderance of the testimony was to the effect that a desk footrest, a hardwood board about 18 inches in length, three inches wide and from one-half to an inch in thickness, was used.

  From the questions asked on the cross examination it would appear that the defense will be made on the ground that the defendant, his brother and another boy of the school had conspired to give Drake a threshing and that Drake had been apprised of their plans and when the trouble was started by Leslie Huffman that Drake dealt with the boy unusually severely as a warning to his fellow conspirators that they should not attempt to carry out their plans.

  The testimony showed that Mr. Drake has been in the habit of calling the roll when a disturbance occurred in the school room and the pupils were placed upon their honor to inform upon themselves.  In the case of Leslie Huffman, the disturbance occurred on the afternoon of December 12 and while there was some dispute as to who was responsible for the noise the boy agreed to take the punishment in the event it would be administered on his hand.  A number of witnesses gave testimony to the effect that Drake secured the maple board and struck young Huffman twice on the right hand and the third blow ***** at the boy’s head.  Huffman dodged and threw up his hand and received the blow on the back of the hand, a severe wound resulting.  It seems that Drake paused for a moment and Huffman took his seat but was requested to rise and Drake struck him several more blows on the left hand.

  Dr. G. S. Stockton who was called to attend the boy stated the blows on the hand has resulted in paralysis of the *** and hand, the boy being able only to move his thumb a little.   Tests were made with electricity, hot water and other methods to prove that there is no feeling in the right hand and Dr. Stockton testified that there is no doubt that the paralysis was caused by the blows received.

  The testimony of Dr. Stockton was corroborated by Dr. C. W. Slusser, who was called late into consultation, Dr. Slusser testifying that he had made tests in his own office and there could be no doubt but the boy had suffered paralysis on the hand from the blows received.

Submitted by: Chris Cornett






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