“Spare the rod, spoil the child.” It used to be a common household phrase, but over the years, parental rights to use corporal punishment have all but disappeared. Maybe that’s the problem with current generations and their total lack of discipline. One school in Hephzibah, Georgia, certainly seems to think so; they’re requesting the right to go back to paddling students who misbehave while under the facility’s care.
• Georgia School of Innovation and the Classics (GSIC) is home to students in grades ranging from Kindergarten all the way through Grade 9. The charter school claims to take discipline very seriously, which is fairly common for facilities in the South.
• It seems the facility recently released a permission slip to be sent home and signed by parents. The form requests direct permission to spank children using a wooden board if and when they commit three separate offenses.
• The form also explains the exact process used: “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,” it reads. It also confirms that no more than “three licks” will be given during any session.
• Some of the parents expressed concern about the “wooden board” being used. According to CBS News, the spanking tool being used is 24 inches long, six inches wide, and 3/4 inches thick. This is similar to paddles used when corporal punishment was much more common.
• Around a third of the parents who received the form signed off, giving the school permission to enact the spanking policy. The rest did not agree.
• Superintendent Jody Boulineau spoke to WRDW about the issue and why they felt the need to enact a stricter policy. “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.”
• But Boulineau was also quick to point out that the spanking policy would be a last resort, and a tool used only when other methods failed. “It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use,” he explained.
• He also indicated that parental responses varied widely, stating that parents would ultimately have the right to decide what happens. “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.