Georgia parents asked to sign a 'consent to paddle form' after charter school reinstates corporal punishment

A charter school in Georgia started a new year by revisiting old disciplinary policies and then sending consent forms to parents asking for permission to paddle students.

Administrators at the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics sent a letter home to parents to inform them of the corporal punishment policy being put in place, according to WRDW in Augusta. However, parents still have to sign the form before their children are subject to paddling. The form says that the kindergarten-through-ninth grade students will be subject to a “three strike” policy, promising that the punishment won’t be administered until a student’s third offense.

Other guidelines within the policy say that a parent will be notified that the child is being paddled before the student is brought into an office with closed doors, where they will place their hands on their knees or on a piece of furniture and be subjected to “no more than three licks” of the wooden paddle.

The district’s superintendent, Jody Boulineau, told WRDW that a little over 100 forms have been returned, with nearly one-third of parents consenting to the policy. If consent isn’t given, parents must agree to the alternative of up to five days of suspension.

Although this form of discipline hasn’t been seen in public schools for years, paddling is still a legal form of punishment in Georgia and 19 other states, WRDW reports.

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 told the local news outlet. “It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use.”

Boulineau didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, WRDW reports that he believes paddling won’t be used often. Instead, the school will rely on the threat of corporal punishment to alleviate issues with students.

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