The school sent home consent forms to ask parents to either agree or not agree to have their child punished for their misbehavior through the old method.
Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics in Hephzibah, Georgia, has brought back paddling as a form of punishment for naughty students, in an attempt to combat the many issues the school faces as a result of ill-discipline.
“In this school, we take discipline very seriously,” said Jody Boulineau, Superintendent of GSIC."There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school and you didn't have the problems that you have.”
The school teaches kindergarten through grade nine.
Boulineau has described the punishment form as "one more tool [...] in our disciplinary toolbox."
Of course, none of this is happening without the agreement of the parents. The school sent home "consent to paddle" forms with the students, which requested their permission for administrators to paddle their children in the event of poor behaviour.
Parents had to either explicity agree to paddling for their children, or withdraw their consent.
"There's no obligation, it's not required. A parent can either give consent for us to use that as a disciplinary measure or they can deny consent," Boulineau explained.
The form reads as follows: "a student will be taken into an office behind closed doors. The student will place their hands on their knees or piece of furniture and will be struck on the buttocks with a paddle."
It is also specified that no more than three smacks should be administered in one sitting.
According to Boulineau, parent responses have ranged from "great, it's about time, we're so glad that this is happening again, they should've never taken it out of schools," to "oh my goodness I can't believe you are doing that."
Parents who do not agree to have their child paddled must agree instead to up to five days of suspension for their child instead.
"I honestly feel like it's something that's not going to be used very often. Sometimes it's just kind of the threat of it being there becomes a deterrent in itself," Boulineau explained.
The practice is still legal in Georgia, along with 19 other states, so long as parent consent is received first. Even so, very few schools still implement corporal punnishment.
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