Punishment can be a tricky topic to discuss among parents, as opinions on the matter can vary widely. Some parents are firm advocates of spanking a child as a means of DISCIPLINE, whereas others are just as passionate in their opposition to it.
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Paddling in schools is still legal in 19 states across America
A controversial disciplinary measure being implemented by a school in Hephzibah, Georgia is the topic of intense media focus & social media debate for this exact reason.
The Georgia School for Innovation and The Classics (GSIC) recently issued a letter to parents announcing it’s decision to reinstate a corporal punishment policy. GSIC, a K-9 charter school, introduced their plan for paddling a child based on the number of disciplinary offenses the child has committed, & provided specific instructions on both the method and instrument in which the paddling would be administered.
Yes, you read that right. The paddling.
But don’t be too surprised, it’s still legal in 19 states across the country.
Just how is the paddling to be conducted? Well, according to the consent letter provided by the school, it is to take place as follows:
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.
For further clarification, here’s a screenshot of the actual details in the letter, featured in a video clip on news station WRDW’s website.
Parents were given the option to decline paddling
As mentioned, parents were given the option to decline the use of said corporal punishment for their child’s behavioral infractions, opting for a suspension of up to 5 days (depending on the offense).
According to school Superintendent Jody Boulineau, although the majority of GSIC parents chose not to grant consent for their child to be paddled, many expressed support for the policy. Boulineau offered the school’s justification for returning to corporal punishment by stating in an interview with WRDW that:
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 no surprise that such a controversial decision has drawn ire on social media, and the massive response to the paddling policy is no exception.
The topic of paddling was quickly trending on Twitter as people reacted passionately to the idea of corporal punishment.
Many people decried that the use of corporal punishment is physical assault on children, & urged people to reconsider the use of corporal punishment in schools (which is still legal in 19 states).
But others expressed support for the paddling policy:
The topic also generated debate even among commenters, whose opinions on what the definition of discipline is differ greatly.
The tweet exchange above clearly illustrates just why the decision of this Georgia school is so newsworthy. The method of discipline that a parent chooses is distinctly personal, so of course any school that attempts to adopt a method involving physical punishment will face severe scrutiny.
Should paddling be legal in the United States?
GSIC’s new policy raises a lot of challenging questions: is striking a child acceptable at all? Is it appropriate if parents spank their child as a means of discipline? Is it acceptable if a school also chooses to do so? What if the school has the permission of the parents?
While advocates for each side of the debate feel equally passionate about it, the bottom line is certain school districts still believe that historically, the use of corporate punishment within schools was a successful deterrent to further disciplinary issues.
So what do you think- do you agree with this school’s (and others like it) decision to apply “no more than three licks” of the paddle to their students? If you were a GSIC parent, would you grant consent to their new policy? Let us know in the comments!