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School CP - October 1982

Corpun file 1653

Education Week, Bethesda, Maryland, 6 October 1982

States News Roundup

The New York Board of Regents last week decided to seek an amendment to the N.Y. penal code that would clearly grant authority to the state board of education to ban corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure.

The state board of regents, which has opposed the use of corporal punishment in disciplining students, will petition the legislature for the change, according to Christopher Carpenter, a spokesman for the state department of education.

Under a provision of the state penal code, he said, parents and teachers are exempt from any criminal assault charges stemming from the use of corporal punishment.

In an opinion written by the lawyer for the state department of education, that provision was interpreted as precluding a formal statewide policy opposing corporal punishment in the schools.

A separate opinion issued by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, however, argued just the opposite.

Because of the conflict in legal interpretation, according to Mr. Carpenter, the state board has not issued a rule banning the practice.

"Informally, the department policy has been to allow local school districts to make their own policy. As a result, some do and some don't," Mr. Carpenter added.

blob Follow-up: 24 November 1985 - Spare the Rod and Spoil the School? (paddling finally outlawed in New York State)

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