Paddling students: Georgia charter school wants to use corporal punishment

“A parent can either give consent for us to use which as a disciplinary measure or they can deny consent,” Jody Boulineau, superintendent of the Hephzibah, Georgia-based school, told WRDW. “There’s no obligation. which’s not required.”

He added which the school received an uneven response by parents. “I’ve heard, ‘Great, which’s about time. We’re so glad which This specific is actually happening again, they should’ve never taken which out of schools.’ All the way to ‘Oh my goodness I can’t believe you are doing which’,” said Boulineau.

Georgia School for Innovation as well as also the Classics, which first opened its door to students three years ago, serves kindergarten through sixth-grade students, though which plans to expand into the upper grades over time. All Georgia resident students are eligible to attend as well as also 694 students were enrolled as of the state’s most recent enrollment count in March 2018.

The fresh policy was approved by the board of directors in June, according to Julie Hawkins, principal of Georgia School for Innovation as well as also the Classics.

“which is actually a choice made by the parent as one option among many within the discipline policy, as well as also is actually reserved for serious, repetitive offenses,” said Hawkins, who emphasized, “Again, the decision might be made by the parent.”

The form records a parent’s consent allowing administrators to hit their children which has a wooden paddle as well as also reads: “A student will be taken into an office behind closed doors. The student will place their hands on their knees or piece of furniture as well as also will be struck on the buttocks which has a paddle.” No more than three licks should be given the fully clothed child, according to the form.

Though parents may agree to the paddling of their children, they will be contacted before which happens. The school will use a “three strike policy” so the paddling doesn’t happen on the first or second offense, according to the fresh guidelines put forth by the school.

The reason for the change in policy is actually not a matter of school-wide discipline problems, Hawkins said in an email. “The ability to control the students is actually not a factor in our school,” she said. “We have an average of 20 students per class, as well as also we have very high expectations for behavior. We work with the students as well as also parents to maintain a learning environment with very few disruptions.”

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Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia as well as also Puerto Rico have abolished corporal punishment in public schools, according to World Corporal Punishment Research, an independent, nonprofit website. This specific form of disciplining students is actually still permitted in 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas as well as also Wyoming. Exact laws vary by state to state, though in most places where corporal punishment is actually allowed, the use is actually negligible, according to the nonprofit’s website. Two states, North Carolina as well as also Texas, give parents the right to exempt their children by its use.

The Department of Education estimates 106,000 students were paddled in public schools during the 2013-14 school year, a decline of 50,000 over two years previously.

Paddling children in private schools is actually lawful in all yet two states, Iowa as well as also fresh Jersey, according to the nonprofit. Punishment in these institutions is actually not included within the federal statistics.

In Georgia, a preliminary search of the Georgia Department of Education database indicates which 243 — both charter as well as also traditional schools — of the state’s more than 2,0 total schools administered corporal punishment in 2017, according to Lauren Holcomb, a spokeswoman for Georgia’s State Charter School Commission. The commission “does not play a role in” which discipline procedures are chosen by individual schools “outside of ensuring a school’s discipline policy complies with the law,” Holcomb said in an email.


Deb Olufs, an educational specialist within the Department of Behavioral Medicine of Gundersen Health System in Wisconsin, said, “Corporal punishment can keep order in a classroom, yet which comes at an enormous cost — because the student becomes afraid of the teacher. as well as also This specific environment we want of learning as well as also engaging in school isn’t created by which. The student is actually currently afraid of the teacher as well as also will go to many lengths as well as also will avoid the teacher.”

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“The last thing I want is actually for a child to equate school which has a place where he or she can be hurt,” said Olufs, who said a school “should be a place of safety as well as also enjoyment as well as also learning.”

“There’s no difference to me between a teacher bullying a child as well as also another student bullying a child,” said Olufs. “which should not be allowed.” not bad teachers can find alternative ways to punish children who present disciplinary problems, she said.

Teachers sometimes enlist a student who is actually acting out into being a helper as a way to develop a closer relationship, said Olufs. Often, students who struggle with their lessons pose problems, so a teacher might give those students more of a leadership position or another way to shine. Separation sometimes works — sending a child to a place where they can be alone for a few minutes. The classroom rules should be posted as well as also stated in very clear as well as also positive terms. “A well-run classroom is actually a work of art,” Olufs said.

If parents suspect corporal punishment has been used on their child without their consent, they should immediately report which to the school social worker as well as also the school principal, said Olufs.

At the Georgia School for Innovation as well as also the Classics, only children of consenting parents who have been notified in advance will receive their three licks, after two previous warnings. Because of This specific, Boulineau said he believes the fresh punitive policy will likely not be used often. “Sometimes which’s just kind of the threat of which being there becomes a deterrent in itself,” the superintendent said. “which’s just one more tool which we have in our disciplinary toolbox which we can use.”

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