Schools have unique ways of teaching their students lessons. While every school sits children down to learn math, English, history, and science, teachers can’t teach if their students are unruly and not paying attention. That’s why classroom management and discipline are essential when it comes to a school’s culture. While public schools have limited power when it comes to how they can punish their students (detentions, suspensions, etc.), charter schools can push the envelope and do more to keep their students disciplined.
The public character school, Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics, has a very special way of disciplining their misbehaving students. Some go so far as to say it is an innovative way to punish their students. But in reality, it is a method that has been around for a long time – corporal punishment.
The school recently sent consent forms so parents could agree to let teachers and administrators do something that is already popular in other parts of the country.
Superintendent Jody Boulineau is excited to be the one responsible for bringing paddling back to the Georgia School. In an interview with WDRW, she described how parents are already very excited about it too.
“(On third of the one hundred) consent to paddled forms” were signed.
Boulineau said, “A parent can either give consent for us to use that as a disciplinary measure or they can deny consent. There’s no obligation. It’s not required.”
The Georgia School opened up the option to parents in case they wanted their children to be paddled for being bad. Many parents are very excited that corporal punishment is coming back because that’s how it was done when they were children – others think physical punishment has no place in a public charter school.
Boulineau said, “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!’”
In other words, parents have a mixed reaction to paddling at the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics.
The school has children from kindergarten to ninth grade, so the discipline required varies considerably.
As of March 2018, the school had 694 students, and the leadership hopes to expand the school to older grades soon.
The principal of the school, Julie Hawkins, hopes to use paddling for “serious, repetitive offenses” only and not minor problems.
“Again, the decision would be made by the parent.”
The policy limits padding, with a wooden implement, no more than three times consecutively.
“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 policy describes.
The Georgia School recognizes that parents have a say when it comes to disciplining their children. And if they know their child is unruly or a problem, they can choose to have the teachers and administrators at the school use the paddle to teach the child a lesson.
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