School Bringing Back the Paddle as Form of Discipline


How would you feel if your child’s school asked for your permission to paddle your child if he or she misbehaved? It may not be so long ago that rulers rapping knuckles was common practice, but one school is trying to bring that sort of thing back.

The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics recently changed their policies to include corporal punishment, because they “take discipline very seriously,” according to the superintendent.

Of course, they will not use this form of punishment without consent, but the very fact that they’re trying to bring it back in any capacity has parents (and non-parents) up in arms.

Jody Boulineau, the school superintendent, said during an interview that this form of punishment is just a way to give the school more options and isn’t mandatory.

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

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

According to WRDW, two-thirds of the parents who have sent in their response so far have denied consent. That still means, of course, that a fairly large percentage is OK with the idea.

“There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school and you didn’t have the problems that you have,” Boulineau continued.

The responses the school has received have been quite mixed, as you can imagine. Some are all for it, and appreciate the classic approach, and others are shocked that a school that calls itself innovative could do such a thing.

Do you think schools should bring back the paddle?

“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’,” Boulineau said, “All the way to ‘oh my goodness I can’t believe you are doing that.'”

Boulineau also thinks it’s more of a leveraging tool used to threaten rather than to actually carry through on. It would also be a last resort, and parents would be contacted in the event of a paddling.

People on Facebook have started voicing their opinions, posting negative reviews of the school on their Facebook page.

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“Schools who support corporal punishment should not receive any public funding! What an antiquated excuse to solve their own issues!” one wrote.

“Corporal Punishment is not a form of discipline,” another wrote. “Evidence shows that it increases aggression and risk for anxiety, depression, autoimmune disorders, heart and kidney disease, obesity, and a handful of other physical and mental issues. Not to mention it’s a double standard. IT’S NOT OKAY TO HIT PEOPLE!”

It certainly is a tricky subject, and not one that will be easily addressed in a manner that will make all parents happy.

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