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New York City Department of Education. Strategies for Preventing Corporal Punishment & Verbal Abuse. A collaborative project of the Office of Teaching/Learning and Integrated Service Center (ISC). August 2007. Contents. Introduction.

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new york city department of education

New York City Department of Education

Strategies for Preventing

Corporal Punishment

&

Verbal Abuse

A collaborative project of the

Office of Teaching/Learning and Integrated Service Center (ISC)

August 2007

introduction
Introduction

This guide represents a proactive approach to preventing instances of corporal punishment and verbal abuse allegations in your school. It is based on the assumptions that allegations of corporal punishment and verbal abuse will be minimized when teachers, paraprofessionals and school aides are aware of the regulations, reflective about their responses to disruptive student behavior, and able to maintain effective classroom management strategies.

This guide contains sample lessons, activities, and strategies for

  • Informing all staff about the Chancellors Regulations regarding Corporal Punishment & Verbal Abuse
  • Addressing individual staff members who are at risk of violating the regulations
  • Providing follow up support for staff members who have substantiated allegations of Corporal Punishment & Verbal Abuse

Realizing that finding time to provide professional development can be challenging, we have provided suggestions for lessons of varying lengths for the same topic, to assist you in fitting in the training based on the time you have available.

Please review and refer to the following regulations as you work with this guide:

Chancellor’s Regulation A440 (Corporal Punishment)

Chancellor’s Regulation A421 (Verbal Abuse)

Chancellor’s Regulation A443 (Student Discipline Procedures)

Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures (The Discipline Code)

staff guide to preventing corporal punishment
In the long term:

Effective classroom management procedures and

Effective Lesson Planning will decrease incidents of disruptive behavior

In the short term/

In the moment:

Learn how to respond not react to confrontations

Remember you are the adult & the professional

Avoid strategies that escalate the confrontation

Handout

Staff Guide to Preventing Corporal Punishment
sample introductory activities
Sample Introductory Activities

Introductory Activities

The following activities are designed to engage the audience and provide opportunities for group discussion by tapping into prior knowledge and sharing:

  • Corporal Punishment KWL
  • Verbal Abuse KWL
  • Corporal Punishment and Verbal Abuse Similarities and Differences
  • Exploring Chancellor’s Regulation A-420
  • Exploring Chancellor’s Regulation A-421
  • Matching

Since finding time to provide professional development can be challenging, activities have been provided of varying lengths. Each activity can be used as separate stand-alone activities or they can be mixed and matched according to staff needs and available time.

Corporal Punishment KWL Procedures:

  • Duplicate and distribute handout Corporal Punishment KWL or provide chart paper for groups to record their responses
  • As a group, list everything you think you know about the Corporal Punishment Regulation
  • As a group, list everything you want to know about the regulation
  • Provide opportunities for groups to share
  • Distribute Regulation A-420 and provide time to review
  • Have groups complete the What I Learned column
  • Public Share

Materials needed: Corporal Punishment KWL handout; chart paper & markers; Copies of A-420 regulation for each participant

Time: 20 minutes

Verbal Abuse KWL Procedures:

  • Duplicate and distribute handout Verbal Abuse KWL or provide chart paper for groups to record their responses
  • As a group, list everything you think you know about the Verbal Abuse Regulation
  • As a group, list everything you want to know about the regulation
  • Provide opportunities for groups to share
  • Distribute Regulation A-421 and provide time to review
  • Have groups complete the What I Learned column
  • Public Share

Materials needed: Verbal Abuse KWL handout; chart paper & markers; Copies of A-421 regulation for each participant

Time: 20 minutes

sample introductory activities continued
Sample Introductory Activities (Continued)

Corporal Punishment & Verbal Abuse: Similarities & Differences

Materials needed: Corporal Punishment & Verbal Abuse handout; chart paper & markers, copies of regulations A-420 and A-421 for each participant

Time: 20 minutes

  • Duplicate and distribute handout Corporal Punishment & Verbal Abuse: Similarities & Differences or provide chart paper for groups to record their responses
  • Share following statement: Prior to January 2003 Corporal Punishment and Verbal Abuse were covered under the same Chancellor’s Regulation. Turn to a colleague sitting next to you and discuss why you think the regulations were separated.
  • Brief public share.
  • Distribute copies of A-420 and A-421 and provide time to read and compare individually.
  • As a group complete Similarities and Differences Chart
  • Public Share

Exploring Chancellor’s Regulation A-420:

Materials needed: Copies of A-420 for each participant

Time: 12-15 minutes

  • Distribute copies of Chancellor’s Regulation A-420 and provide time to read individually
  • Ask participants to highlight key points of the regulation
  • Provide time for public share.
  • What questions do you have about the regulation?

Exploring Chancellor’s Regulation A-421:

Materials needed: Copies of A-421

Time: 12-15 minutes

  • Distribute copies of Chancellor’s Regulation A-421 and provide time to read individually
  • Ask participants to highlight key points of the regulation
  • Provide time for public share.
  • What questions do you have about the regulation?
sample introductory activities continued1
Sample Introductory Activities (Continued)

Opening Activities: Matching

Materials needed: Copies of Matching handout for each participant

Time: 5 minutes

  • Duplicate and distribute copies of Matching handout
  • Have participants respond individually
  • Ask participants to share their responses with a shoulder partner
  • Provide time for public share

Opening Activities: True or False

Materials needed: Copies of True or False handout for each participant

Time: 5 minutes

  • Duplicate and distribute copies of True or False document
  • Have participants respond individually
  • Ask participants to share their responses with a shoulder partner
  • Provide time for public share
true or false

Handout

True or False
  • A parent has the right (by prior approval) to waive the restriction against corporal punishment.
  • There are no exceptions to the prohibition on the use of physical force.
  • An employee may be reassigned while allegations of corporal punishment are being investigated.
  • An employee may be dismissed for inflicting corporal punishment.
  • It is the principal’s responsibility to bring to the attention of all staff the rules with respect to corporal punishment.
  • All allegations of corporal punishment must be reported immediately to the Office of Special Investigations.
  • Employees must be removed from the classroom whenever an allegation of corporal punishment has been made.
  • As long as a staff member avoids use of physical force there can be no consequences.
sample reflective discussion activities
Sample Reflective Discussion Activities

Reflective Discussion Activities

The following activities are designed to engage the audience in being reflective about responses and choices that staff members make in response to disruptive behavior.

  • Reflective Questions
  • Scenarios
  • Changing the Outcome
  • The Time I Almost Lost It

Reflective Questions: Carousel Brainstorms:

Materials: Chart Paper; different color marker for each tab, reference copies of the chancellors regulations A-420 A-421 A-423 Discipline Code

Time: 50-60 minutes

  • Provide each table with chart paper and a different color marker.
  • Assign each group a different reflective question to respond to (or allow tables to choose the question they are interested in).
  • Provide time for each table to respond to their question on chart paper.
  • Have tables rotate their charts clockwise to the next table.
  • Each table reads the responses and adds additional comments or questions (using the color marker from their table).
  • Continue rotating charts until each table has their original chart.
  • Tables read and reflect on the additional comments.
  • Each table shares out publicly.
sample reflective discussion activities continued
Sample Reflective Discussion Activities (Continued)

Reflective Questions:

Materials: Reflective Questions, copies of chancellors regulations A-420, A-421, A-423

Time: 15-20 minutes

  • Presenter selects reflective questions for discussion.
  • Provide time for each table to discuss their question in their small group.
  • Provide time for public share.

Scenarios:

Materials: Scenarios That Could Lead to Corporal Punishment / Verbal Abuse

Time: 15 – 30 minutes (depending on amount of discussion time allotted)

  • Distribute Scenarios That Could Lead to Corporal Punishment / Verbal Abuse.
  • Working in pairs decide which regulation applies to each scenario.
  • Discuss the issues that each scenario presents.
  • Provide time for public share.

Changing the Outcome:

Materials: Changing the Outcome reference copies of the chancellors regulations A-420 A-421 A-423 Discipline Code

Time: 15 - 20 minutes

  • Display scenarios described in Changing the Outcome.
  • Assign each individual or group a different scenario to address to (or allow tables to choose the question they are interested in).
  • Ask each to re-write scenario to bring about a more positive outcome for both student and staff member.
  • Have tables rotate their charts clockwise to the next table.
  • Each group shares out publicly. Others are invited to offer other solutions.
sample reflective discussion activities continued1
Sample Reflective Discussion Activities (Continued)

Changing the Outcome:

Materials: ‘Changing the Outcome’ reference copies of the chancellors regulations A-420 A-421 A-423 Discipline Code

Time: 25 - 30 minutes

  • Display scenarios described in Changing the Outcome.
  • Each individual or group addresses all 5 scenarios.
  • Ask each to re-write scenario to bring about a more positive outcome for both student and staff member.
  • Have tables rotate their charts clockwise to the next table.
  • Each shares out publicly. Others are invited to offer other solutions.

The One Time I ALMOST Lost It:

Materials: Reflective Questions, copies of chancellors regulations A-420, A-421, A-423

Time: 15-20 minutes

  • Ask staff to individually write about a time that they almost responded to a confrontation with a student inappropriately.
  • Identify factors that prevented ‘crossing the line.’
  • Using STAND UP meetings, have colleagues exchange stories.
  • Provide time for public share: What kinds of strategies helped this community to avoid “crossing the line”?

Triggers:

Materials: The Discipline Code

Time: 15 - 20 minutes

  • Individually, review the handout Potential Triggers for Corporal Punishment or Verbal Abuse.
  • Discuss with a colleague sitting next to you why these behaviors are described as “triggers”.
  • Use the Discipline Code to find responses that are appropriate for each ‘trigger’.
  • Public Debrief
reflective questions

Handout

Reflective Questions
  • Why should disruptive behavior by a student NEVER be punished by use of physical force?
  • What kind of interventions would be more appropriate and more effective to address disruptive behavior?
  • How do the following support the avoidance of corporal punishment charges :
  • A420/ A421/A443 / Discipline Code/ Save Legislation / Pupil Personnel Team/ Guidance interventions
  • What school level strategies are available to address behavioral problems?
  • What strategies are available to the individual teacher to address behavioral problems?
  • Are there any circumstances when reasonable physical force may be used?
  • Is it enough to simply avoid using physical force?
scenarios that could lead to corporal punishment verbal abuse allegations

Handout

Scenarios that could Lead to Corporal Punishment / Verbal Abuse Allegations
  • Teacher demands that a disruptive student leave the classroom. Student ignores teacher instructions. Teacher grabs student’s arm to escort him from the room
  • Two students are fighting. Teacher steps in to pull the students apart.
  • Teacher tells student who has been talking incessantly to stand in the corner.
  • Most of the class has been talking, joking and not paying attention to the lesson for the entire period. Teacher tells the students that given their attitude they will never amount to anything.
  • Teacher playfully hits student with plastic bat in gym.
  • Student curses at teacher. Teacher responds in kind.
  • Teacher is covering a class for an absent teacher of unfamiliar students. The students are unruly and disrespectful.
  • Teacher has told the same student several times to stop running in the lunchroom.
changing the outcome

Handout

Changing the Outcome

Each of the following scenarios led to an allegation of corporal punishment. Re-write each scenario: How else could the staff member have responded to bring about a more positive outcome for student and staff?

  • A student is assigned to your class because the regular teacher is absent. The visiting student is disorderly and fooling around with the student next to him. You take the visiting student’s arm to escort him to another seat.
  • You are with your class in the auditorium rehearsing for a school presentation. Two students not in your classroom attempt to enter the auditorium. When you tell the intruders to go back to class, one of them tries to run past you. You hold up your arms to push the student back out of the auditorium.
  • You are attempting to break up a fight between two students. One student swings at the other student but hits you instead. You push the student away and he falls hitting his back on a desk.
  • You are returning test papers and you can’t believe that everyone has failed the exam. As you are lecturing the class for not studying, a student starts talking. You blurt out, “I know you are not talking after the mark you got on this test. What are you stupid or something?”
  • You are escorting your class to the main entrance for dismissal. You admonish your class not to make a sound. One student walking right next to you starts laughing. As you remind him to be quiet, you smack him on the back of his head.
potential triggers of corporal punishment or verbal abuse reactions

Handout

Potential “Triggers” of corporal punishment or verbal abuse reactions
  • Student engages in verbally rude or disrespectful behavior
  • Student behaves in a manner which disrupts the educational process
  • Student uses profane language, obscene, vulgar, lewd or abusive language
  • Student uses slurs based on race, ethnicity, color or gender or sexual orientation
  • Student is insubordinate, defying or disobeying authority
  • Student attempts to leave (or enter) class without permission
new teachers
New Teachers
  • DOE statistics show that there is a higher incidence of corporal punishment / verbal abuse allegations among new teachers.
  • Mentors are in a unique position to observe situations with new teachers that might result in corporal punishment / verbal abuse charges
  • Mentors should seek entry points to share potential corporal punishment verbal abuse situations to address with new teacher.
  • Principals can use the 2 professional support periods to address potentially explosive situations in the new teacher’s classroom.
new teachers1
MENTORS CAN

Bring to attention of new teachers situations and behaviors that could lead to corporal punishment or verbal abuse

Use classroom data collection tools to share “risky” behavior

Provide another copy of regulations and discuss appropriate strategies

Engage in role play scenarios to help avoid corporal punishment allegation traps

Engage in reflective conversations to guide the new teacher to more effective strategies for addressing disruptive behavior

Work with new teacher to address general classroom management strategies

Work with new teachers to help plan more effective and engaging lessons.

PRNCIPALS CAN

Make sure that new teachers are aware of and receive copies of the chancellor’s regulations when they begin working in school

Use data from classroom observations to make new teachers aware of potential corporal punishment situations

Arrange training especially for new teachers on avoiding corporal punishment/ verbal abuse traps

Make use of the two professional support periods to arrange for discussions, intervisitations and workshops on avoiding allegations.

New Teachers
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