Can teachers and other employees use physical force to discipline kids in New York State schools? The New York State Board of Regents just modified its corporal punishment rules.
What Is Corporal Punishment?
Corporal punishment is defined as using physical discipline on students,
A corporal punishment or a physical punishment is a punishment which is intended to cause physical pain to a person. When it is inflicted on minors, especially in home and school settings, its methods may include spanking or paddling.
Corporal punishment in schools is banned in many countries, including Canada, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand, and all of Europe. There is no federal ban on the use of corporal punishment in the United States. Private schools in the U.S. can legally use corporal punishment, except in New Jersey and Iowa. It is legal in 17 states, which are mostly in the south.
Department of Education data from 2011–2012 show that 70 percent of students subjected to corporal punishment were from the five states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, with the latter two states accounting for 35 percent of corporal punishment cases.
Can Schools In New York State Use Corporal Punishment?
According to Section 35.10(1) of the New York State Penal Law, a teacher or school administrator may use corporal punishment,
A parent, guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a person under the age of twenty-one or an incompetent person, and a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a person under the age of twenty-one for a special purpose, may use physical force, but not deadly physical force, upon such person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of such person.
However, the New York State Board of Regents recently modified corporal punishment rules. The new rules limited the use of timeout and physical restraint. Any staff that administers physical or seclusion-based discipline must receive yearly evidence-based training in safe and effective timeout and physical restraint practices. According to the Times Union,
The board also unanimously approved a provision clarifying that corporal punishment is banned in all schools following investigations by the Times Union and The New York Times that raised concerns about those practices.
You can see all of the changes here.
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