Georgia school brings back paddling to discipline students

Georgia school brings back paddling to discipline students
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A charter school in Georgia has reinstated paddling as a disciplinary action for students.

The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics in Hephzibah sent home a letter to parents this week asking for permission to spank their children with a wooden paddle, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“In this school, we take discipline very seriously,” Jody Boulineau, the school’s superintendent, told the local station.

"There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school and you didn't have the problems that you have,” Boulineau continued. 

The kindergarten-through-ninth-grade school said they have gotten just over a hundred "consent to paddle" forms back so far. A third of the forms received from parents have given the school consent to paddle their children.

"It's just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use,” Boulineau said.

"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," he added.

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According to News 12, forms asking for consent read that 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.” 

According to the form obtained by the local station, a student will be paddled no more than three times as a punishment. 

"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,’” Boulineau said of the reactions he has received from parents about the controversial policy. "All the way to 'oh my goodness I can't believe you are doing that.’"

Boulineau said students could face up to 5 days of suspension as an alternative punishment if their parents opt out of the paddling policy. 

"I honestly feel like it's something that's not going to be used very often,” Boulineau added. “Sometimes it's just kind of the threat of it being there becomes a deterrent in itself." 

School corporal punishment has been outlawed in multiple states but remains legal in 19, the local station noted.