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Corporal Punishment and Verbal Abuse

It is very important that all UFT-represented workers understand the regulations on corporal punishment and verbal abuse:

Regulation of the Chancellor A-420 - Pupil Behavior and Discipline - Corporal Punishment

Section 100.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner defines corporal punishment as any act of physical force upon a pupil for the purpose of punishing that pupil.

Corporal punishment shall not mean the use of reasonable force to protect oneself, to protect another, to protect property or to restrain or remove.

Regulation of the Chancellor A-421 - Pupil Behavior and Discipline - Verbal Abuse: Verbal abuse of students is not corporal punishment, but it is behavior that is prohibited by Regulation of the Chancellor A-421. Verbal abuse includes:

  • Language that tends to cause fear or physical or mental distress;
  • Language that includes words denoting racial, ethnic, religious, gender, disability, or sexual orientation which tends to cause fear or physical or mental distress;
  • Language that tends to threaten physical harm; and
  • Language that tends to belittle or subject students to ridicule.

If a UFT member is accused of committing either corporal punishment or verbal abuse, he or she should make sure to contact the school's chapter leader. UFT members are entitled to union representation when questioned about any allegations.

Also see False Accusations.