December 20, 2016

Teacher fined $10,000 after subjecting student to corporal punishment


Teacher fined $10,000 after subjecting student to corporal punishment
2016 NY Slip Op 08301, Appellate Division, First Department

The Appellate Division dismissed a petition to vacate an Education §3020-a disciplinary arbitration award finding that a special education teacher [Educator] inflicted corporal punishment on a special education student. The court then sustained the penalty imposed: a $10,000 fine, indicating that the penalty “does not shock our sense of fairness.”

The court found that the hearing officer’s determination:

1. Did not violate the Educator's due process rights as she was provided with notice, an appropriate hearing, and the opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses; and

2. Was supported by adequate evidence, was rational, and was not arbitrary and capricious.


As to the penalty imposed on  Educator, §3020-a(4)(a) of the Education Law, which applies to members of the teaching and supervisory staff of a school district, a board of cooperative educational services or a county vocational education and extension board, regardless of title, as described in subdivision (d) of §35 of the Civil Service Law, provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]n those cases where a penalty is imposed, such penalty may be a written reprimand, a fine, suspension for a fixed time without pay, or dismissal"


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