Georgia School Reinstates Paddling As Form Of Punishment For Misbehaving Students

Corporal punishment may be seen as a relic of the past in many parts of the world, but many who grew up at a time when it was still accepted see it as an alternative to the hands-off parenting that they believe has led to widespread disciplinary problems among the youth. That appears to be the line of thinking in a kindergarten-through-9th-grade school in Georgia, which has attracted controversy after sending forms to parents advising them of a new policy where they can allow misbehaving children to be disciplined through paddling.

According to CBS News, the Georgia School of Innovation and Classics (GSIC) in Hephzibah has decided to reintroduce paddling, or the use of a long wooden board to spank someone on the behind, as a way of disciplining students. While the process has long been removed in many schools across America, paddling remains legal in 20 states, including Georgia.

“In this school, we take discipline very seriously,” GSIC superintendent Jody Boulineau told CBS affiliate 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.”

As seen in a copy of the consent form sent to parents, paddling would be introduced as a means of punishment after a child has committed their third offense, and would not be administered in excess of three licks. The form also states that the paddle will be 24 inches long, six inches wide, and three-fourths of an inch thick, though an additional passage that states parents will be informed if their child is due for a paddling has yet to be verified by CBS News.

“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 read.

Since GSIC announced its controversial disciplinary reform, parents have had mixed reactions to the use of corporal punishment as another part of the school’s “disciplinary toolbox,” according to Boulineau. Some parents reacted enthusiastically to the paddling policy, saying that they’re glad the form of discipline is making a comeback, while others reacted with shock and disappointment, the superintendent noted. So far, GSIC is the only school in its district that will use paddling for discipline in the current academic year.

As further noted by CBS News, parents who opt out of the consent form will be required to agree to a maximum of five days suspension for their children as an alternative to corporal punishment.