A charter school in Georgia is instituting a policy to use corporal punishment to discipline students.
WRDW-TV reports that the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics, a school for grades K to 9 in Hephzibah, just outside Augusta, has sent consent forms to parents informing them of the new discipline policy.
Jody Boulineau, superintendent of the school, says they’ve received a little more than a hundred forms back. Only a third of the families have given consent to paddle their child.
"It's just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use,” Boulineau says. "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."
The form spells out the policy: 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 says no more than three licks should be given. If parents opt out of paddling, they have to agree to have their children receive up to five days of suspension for infractions.
"I honestly feel like it's something that's not going to be used very often. Sometimes it's just kind of the threat of it being there becomes a deterrent in itself."
Corporal punishment is legal in Georgia and 19 other states, but it's rare for a school to have a policy for it.