It seems like the ‘olden’ days aren’t too far behind us, after a charter school in Georgia is bringing back a form of discipline, that has parents complaining to administrators. The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics, which teaches children in Kindergarten through ninth grade, is bringing back paddling punishment. Paddling is also known as corporal punishment, defined as utilizing physical force to cause deliberate bodily discomfort or pain in response to undesired behavior.
The school sent a “consent to paddle form”, asking parents if they were okay with administration hitting their children with yes, you guessed it, a wooden paddle. Georgia is among the 15 states that allow school’s use of corporal punishment. The form states students who are punished will be taken out of class and sent to an office, where they will be behind closed doors and will place their hands on their knees or a piece a furniture. “Once in position”, they will be struck on the buttocks with a paddle.
The school stated it will use a “three strike” policy, meaning paddling does not happen until the third offense and a student will not receive more than three licks. According to school records, less than one-third of GSIC parents have given consent for their children to be paddles.
Superintendent Jody Boulineau spoke with WRDW news, stating, “In this school, we take discipline very seriously. 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 paddling policy is voluntary, and there is no obligation, meaning parents can give the school consent to use the paddling as a discipline measure, or they can deny it. Parents who decide to opt out or do not agree with the policy are at risk of having their children suspended up to five days for disciplinary issues instead.