School in Georgia Reinstates Paddling
Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics is reinstating the “paddle punishment”. The school is requesting permission from parents to use corporal punishment.
After advocates against corporal punishment argued that physical punishment on students interferes with the students’ learning, it started to be banned in schools starting in Poland in 1783. Currently, corporal punishment is banned in 31 states, not including Georgia.
Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics, known for their high standards in academics and behaviors, being a charter school, has sent consent forms home with students. The school is introducing a “three strike policy”, where the student will have two warnings before being paddled. The students of whom has parents’ consent, will have their parents called and notified before they are taken to the office and paddled no more than three times.
Opinions on this matter are very clear in the Salem-Keizer school district, South’s behavior specialist, Michelle Howard said, “I think a lot of kids who misbehave, probably already have a lot of bad things going on at home; they don’t need that bad thing to happen here. This is a safe place.”
It’s speculated that corporal punishment interferes with a child’s learning. “If you don’t feel safe in your school, you don’t learn. Period.” Howard continued. “If you take an angry kid and beat them, I don’t think that’s gonna make them any less angry.”
Many staff feel uncomfortable at even just thinking about the idea of paddling a student. “It just seems like something could go wrong, you could really hurt somebody.” Said the principal of South, Lara Tiffin. “I’d have a really hard time being an educator if that was expected of me.” Howard as well, said, “The most effective form of dealing with punishment is building a relationship with the students… I will hold them accountable and I will tell them good job when they deserve it. I could not imagine hurting a student.”
Overall, staff in Salem do not seem to be on board with the idea of corporal punishment. They do not believe it truly will help students behave. “I don’t even see it as a possibility.” Tiffin said.