Robert: U.S. school brings back paddling

The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics (GSIC), a charter school for students from kindergarten to Grade 9, is bringing back an old-school way to ensure students don’t get out of hand. The school sent consent forms home with students, asking parents to sign off on school staff paddling their child as a form of discipline. GSIC Superintendent, Jody Boulineau, say that roughly one-third of parents have given consent.

“In this school, we take discipline very seriously,” Boulineau said. “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 policy states that students will have “three strikes”, in which a third offence merits a trip to the principal’s office. If the parents consented to a paddling, the 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.” No more than three “licks” will be issued and an adult witness needs to be present. Any parent who have not given their consent must agree that their child could face up to a five day suspension.

The state of Georgia is one of 19 that allows paddling in schools as a form of discipline, but few schools have a policy that explicitly permits it.

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