New York Department of Education Finds Alarming Number of Corporal Punishment Instances
According to a report by Emilie Munson, Joshua Solomon and Matt Rocheleau of The Times-Union, the New York State Department of Education has found an alarming number of corporal punishment instances in New York schools.
According to the report, the Education Department received nearly 18,000 complaints of corporal punishments in public and private schools across the state, and substantiated more that 1,600 of those complaints from 2016 to 2021. The report also stated that the Times Union found that corporal punishment incidents were underreported by school officials.
The substantiated claims include any situation in which a faculty member physically contacted a student, such as slapping, spanking or grabbing. The vast majority of the complaints originated from New York City schools, comprising of 1,271 substantiated complaints of the over 1,600 total substantiated complaints.
Jenna Lyle, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Education, told the Times-Union "Corporal punishment is unequivocally prohibited in all NYC public schools, and we take every complaint seriously to ensure that a full and complete investigation is done. If there is a substantiated case, we take immediate corrective action and strengthen our prevention efforts.
While the laws guiding corporal punishment in schools get unclear when it comes to some private schools, Governor Kathy Hochul's office believes that New York's child abuse laws make it clear that corporal punishment in any form is illegal.
Not only is corporal punishment illegal in New York, studies have consistently shown that in addition to the physical and psychological harm it causes students, it is not an effective way to teach and raise students. According to the World Health Organization, corporal punishment is linked to negative physical and mental health issues and can impair cognitive and socio-emotional development and increase aggression and violence.