An old form of school punishment has been reinstated at a Georgia charter school, just in time for the new school year. The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics has reinstated corporal punishment and sent consent forms home to parents asking for permission to paddle their children, according to the local NBC network.
The form notifies parents that the school has adopted a “three strike” policy and that students won’t experience paddling until a student’s third offense. Parents who refuse to sign the consent form will not have their children subject to the new paddling policy.
The new policy will be applicable to all students between kindergarten and ninth grade.
The school reported so far they have received 100 signed forms back, with over a third of them consenting to the paddling.
— NBC 15 (@mynbc15) September 10, 2018
“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 Superintendent said.
It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use,” she added.
The parental consent form spells out in detail how the paddling policy would be implemented. According to the form, students will be brought into an office with closed doors, and the student will “place their hands on their knees or piece and will be struck on the buttocks with a paddle.”
The form goes on to state that the paddle will be made of wood and no more than 24″ in length, 6″ in width and 3/4″ in thickness. An adult must be present while the administrator paddles the child to act as witness. Prior to administering the punishment, the child’s parents will be notified but if they opt out of paddling they have to agree to a five-day suspension for their child.
WRDW reported that paddling is still legal in Georgia and 19 other states but it’s rare for schools to adopt a policy on it. GSIC is the only known school in that area to have a policy of paddling misbehaving students.