Georgia School Decides in Favor of Physical Punishments in School
GEORGIA — September 11, 2018
We all remember high school history textbooks about the Middle Ages: How children were taught, how they were brought up, how people worked and so on... the methods of education were many, and if you parents found it difficult to cope with the child, they could always turn to the paddle. These kinds of punishments were not only for parents but also teachers.
In the modern world, this method has mostly been banned. Currently, it is prohibited in public schools in thirty States. In New Jersey and Iowa flogging is also illegal in private schools. The 20 States in which this method is not prohibited are located mainly in the South of the country. Flogging continues to be used on a significant scale in some public schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.
In 1867, New Jersey became the first American state to ban paddling to punish students in schools. The second was Massachusetts in 1971. The latest State which banned school flogging was New Mexico in 2011.
Private schools in most States are free from this prohibition and can choose the instrument of discipline. Most are private schools in southern States, and usually Christian Evangelical or fundamentalist.
Recently this method has been revived in the Georgia School of Innovation and the Classics (GSIC) in Hephzibah. Paddling -- spanking a child on the behind with a wooden board – will again be a form of discipline.
Superintendent Jody Boulineau said that about 100 parents sent back the forms, and one-third gave the school consent to paddle their child.
"In this school, we take discipline very seriously," the superintendent 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."
Boulineau added parents can deny giving permission to the school. The form sent home explained the steps the school would take to discipline children with a paddle.
"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, which was obtained by WRDW, reads. Students will be paddled after their third offense. The form also says "no more than three licks should be given."
The paddle will be 24 inches in length, six inches in width and 3/4 inches in thickness, the form specifies. Parents will be notified if their child is to be paddled by an administrator, according to the document.
"It's just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use," Boulineau said.
The superintendent said the response from parents has varied. "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,'" he said.
Although paddling is seen as a controversial policy that has not been used widely in schools for years, it is legal in Georgia and 19 other states.
Parents who opt out of the paddling must agree to up to five days of suspension as punishment for their children. GSIC is the only school in the August area that will start paddling students who are misbehaving this year.
It is worth noting that this method, both in the Middle Ages and today, has enjoyed great success. In order for children to receive proper discipline, sometimes such methods are essential. “Spare the rod spoil the child” may again become a popular motto in American schools.