Corporal punishment is still legal in 19 of the 50 United States of America, but very few schools actually implement this form of discipline.
The Georgia School of Innovation and the Classics (GSIC), a kindergarten to 9th-grade charter school, has made headlines after it reinstated paddling to punish students.
The school in Hephzibah, Georgia was required to send a consent form to parents. According to local news WRDW-TV, approximately one-third of parents gave consent for school administrators to strike their children with a wooden paddle.
In this school, we take discipline very seriously,” superintendent Jody 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.”
“It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use,” she continued.
The response from parents has been mixed. “I’ve heard, ‘Great, it’s about time, we’re so glad that this is happening again, they should’ve never taken it out of schools.’ All the way to, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you are doing that,'” Boulineau explained.
Parents who refuse to sign the consent form must accept a 5-day suspension in place of a beating for their children. GSIC is the only school in its district to approve paddling.