A charter school in Hephzibah, Georgia is going back to an old-school form of discipline for misbehaving students.
The Georgia School of Innovation and the Classics (GSIC) have reinstated corporal punishment.
Students in the kindergarten through ninth grade school can now be spanked on the behind with a wooden paddle as a form of discipline, reports AP News.
Superintendent Jody Boulineau told WRDW,
“In this school, we take discipline very seriously.
There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school and you didn’t have the problems that you have.”
Last week GSIC sent home a consent letter explaining the policy at hand. So far, more than 100 forms have been returned — about one third of parents have given the school permission to spank their children.
The new policy allows paddling after a student’s third disciplinary offense.
“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 said.
Superintendent Boulineau added:
“There’s no obligation, it’s not required. A parent can either give consent for us to use that as a disciplinary measure or they can deny consent.
It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use.”
Parents who do not consent to have their kids spanked have agreed to up to five days of suspension instead. The form reads:
A 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.
The form also says “no more than three licks [hits] should be given.” In 15 states, including Georgia, corporal punishment is “explicitly” still legal, according to an analysis by Education Week.
However, some experts argue the controversial practice of spanking doesn’t help solve discipline issues and needs to end, as previously reported by Dearly.
In a report published by the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists found the “boundary line between punishment and abuse” is too difficult to establish in self-reported studies.
Therefore, “psychologists can not responsibly recommend its use” until adequate research can demonstrate the effectiveness of corporal punishment.