Georgia school brings back paddle for misbehaving students

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HEPHZIBAH, GA (WCMH/CNN) – A charter school in Georgia is bringing back an old-fashioned form of discipline, and that has many parents up in arms.

“In this school, we take discipline very seriously,” said Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics Superintendent Jody Boulineau.

The school is going old school, with a new policy for this year. They’re bringing back the paddle, WAGT reported.

“There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school and you didn’t have the problems that you have,” said Boulineau. “It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox.”

Parents got a ‘consent to paddle form,’ asking them if they’re OK with administrators hitting their child with a wooden paddle.

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

The form spells out the procedure.

Students being paddled will be taken to an office behind closed doors. The student will place their hands on their knees or a piece of furniture and will be struck on the buttocks with a paddle.

The form says no more than three licks should be given.

Superintendent Boulineau says parent response has been across the board.

“Great! It’s about time. We’re so glad that this is happening again. They should never have taken it out of school. All the way to oh my goodness, I can’t believe you’re doing that,” said Boulineau.

If parents opt out of paddling, they have to agree to up to five days of suspension.

“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,” said Boulineau.

The school says less than one third of the parents who have responded have given permission for their kids to be paddled.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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