New York Bans Corporal Punishment in All Schools

(WNY News Now) – The State of New York has enacted legislation, sponsored by Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-North Shore) and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, to prohibit corporal punishment in all schools, extending the ban beyond public schools to include private institutions. The new law (A05010) aims to ensure a safe and abuse-free educational environment for all students.

Albany – In a landmark decision aimed at safeguarding the well-being of students across the state, New York has taken a significant step by outlawing corporal punishment in all schools. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-North Shore) and signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, brings an end to the use of physical force as a means of discipline in both public and private schools.

Previously, while corporal punishment was already prohibited in public schools, it remained a permissible practice in some private educational institutions. The new law, officially designated as A05010, closes this legal loophole and unequivocally bans the use of corporal punishment by teachers, administrators, officers, employees, or agents of any school within the state.

The legislation is accompanied by a comprehensive memo that defines corporal punishment as the application of physical force with the intent to cause pain or harm to individuals accused of breaking a law or rule. This memo further specifies various forms of corporal punishment, including spanking or slapping, using objects like paddles, rulers, or belts, and compelling students to engage in physically painful activities, such as crawling over rough terrain or excessive running.

Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-North Shore), the driving force behind this legislative effort, passionately expressed his support for the new law. Lavine emphasized that, “Physical punishment in educational settings is abhorrent, and I am pleased that New York is protecting our children by outlawing its use. Students must learn in a safe environment. The message to any abusive adults is very simple, keep your hands off our kids.”

The ban on corporal punishment underscores a broader commitment to promoting a safe and nurturing educational environment for all students, irrespective of the type of school they attend. By prohibiting such punitive measures, New York aligns itself with a growing movement across the country and worldwide that recognizes the importance of non-violent disciplinary methods in schools.

Advocates for the ban argue that corporal punishment can have detrimental physical and psychological effects on students and is inconsistent with modern educational values. The legislation not only protects students from potential harm but also sends a clear message that the state prioritizes their safety and well-being.

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