School reinstates corporal punishment after parents give permission

By Sky News

Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics has brought back corporal punishment. Pic: WRDW/ABC7

(SKY NEWS) – A school in Georgia, US, has brought back the paddle as a form of punishment to misbehaving pupils.

The Georgia School of Innovation and the Classics sought parental permission to use corporal punishment, and dozens have given the go-ahead for their children.

Jody Boulineau, the school superintendent, told WRDW 12: “There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school and you didn’t have the problems that you have.

“It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use.”

Parents who did not consent to allowing the paddle as punishment had to allow suspension of up to five days.

According to the form, pupils will be punished by being “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 paddle will only be used a maximum of three times, and as the final strike of a three-strike policy.

The school will also contact parents beforehand. According to reports, about 100 parents sent back the permission slips, but only one-third had consented.

Mr Boulineau added: “Honestly, we feel that it’s something that’s not going to be used very often. Sometimes it’s just kind of the threat of it being there becomes a deterrent in itself.”

There are 19 states in America where corporal punishment is legal, but it is rare for schools to implement it.

One study indicates about 160,000 students faced corporal punishment in 2011-12.

The states are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

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