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School Reinstates Paddling As A Punishment For Students

Wesley Fryer (Cherokee Heritage Museum) via Wikimedia Commons

In every school there's always at least one troublesome student.

Whether they lack respect for authority or are simply trying to be the class clown, they can drive a teacher up the wall.

Although these kids are typically given lines to write, a trip to detention, or a stern talking-to in the principal's office, one Georgia school is reinstating one form of punishment only our grandparents can remember.

The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics, which has students ranging from kindergarten to grade nine, may be given up to three swats on the bum with a wooden paddle as a form of punishment.

Parents must sign a letter to allow teachers to use corporal punishment, and according Hephzibah school’s superintendent, Jody Boulineau, they've have already gotten more than 100 consent forms back with one-third of them signed.

"In this school, we take discipline very seriously," Boulineau told local news station WRDW. "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 form explained that a student would only receive corporal punishment after their third strike, and won't get more than three "licks" from the paddle.

"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," the form, which was obtained by WRDW, stated.

Boulineau said that while this isn't a mandatory punishment, if parents refuse to have their children be paddled, the students will face up to a five-day suspension.

"There's no obligation, it's not required,” Boulineau said. “A parent can either give consent for us to use that as a disciplinary measure or they can deny consent.”

"It's just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use," he continued, adding that the new policy's had garnered varying reactions.

"I've heard, 'Great, it's about time, we're so glad that this is happening again, they should've never taken it out of schools.' All the way to, 'Oh my goodness, I can't believe you are doing that.'"

However, the superintendent said he doesn't expect the new policy to be often put into action at the charter school, as it's meant to be seen as a deterrent for students.

"Honestly, we feel that it’s something that’s not going to be used very often."

While considered a controversial punishment, paddling is legal in Georgia, and 19 other states, including Florida, Texas, and Colorado.

[H/T: WRDW]

How many parents do you think will agree to having their kids face corporal punishment? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com