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Georgia school reinstates paddling – What’s the punishment like at Amador?

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A Georgia school tries to bring back paddling as a form of punishment.

A Georgia school tries to bring back paddling as a form of punishment.

A Georgia school tries to bring back paddling as a form of punishment.

Julian Koste, Staff Writer

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Not too long ago, parents living in Hephzibah, Georgia received a letter from their school asking them to consent to the paddling of their children. One-third gave consent, and so, paddling has made its way back into Georgia’s roster of disciplining students.

Strangely, the school wanted to be absolutely clear with what they meant by “paddling,” so the letter cleared it up.

“The student will place their hands on their knees or a piece of furniture and will be struck on the bottocks with a paddle. The paddle is to be made of wood and should not exceed the 24” in length, 6” in width, and ¾” in thickness. No more than three licks to be given.””

— Georgia School

Moving the questionable decision to call strikes “licks” aside, it made me wonder how Amador decides to discipline their students.

I am of the opinion that no person in position of authority should physically beat their underlings, but there are many who feel that the parents of today’s generation are a bit too soft with their kids, and believe that the good old days of the occasional spank would set them straight.

The establishment of paddling in Hephzibah is just a result of this rising belief.

The idea that the days of the past are always better than the days of the present is a belief that is often just plain wrong, but it’s perfectly

possible that the harsh art of discipline has been lost some time ago. So, I decided to set out and find out what exactly the discipline is in Amador.

The “corporal punishment” of the paddling is not to be used in the Georgia school until a “third strike” of disciplinary purposes.

You can find the AVHS ‘Discipline Plan’ on pages 16-21 of the planner telling you the different offenses that qualify for punishment. The plan is set up on the three strike system, each strike with a different consequence.

Amador similarly follows a three-strike policy on many of its rules. Most of the lighter rules include a suspension and parent contact after three strikes. Cutting class, dress cuts, tardiness, all follow a general pattern of small punishment, detention, and parent contact. Even littering follows this basic pattern.

We have no chance of paddling being introduced at Amador, but its curious to imagine where exactly paddling would come into play. The school describes the paddling as “corporal punishment” to be given out after three strikes of disciplinary actions. That could be anything. From littering to harming another student. If they do it three times, then paddling can be used for any kind of discipline.

Of course, the decision to paddle students isn’t being made in a high school, but instead in a elementary school. Children probably aren’t going to hurt each other in the same ways that high schoolers would, and if they do, they’ll probably be expelled anyway.

The vagueness that the school’s letter has seems to work to their detriment. If they’re not specific as to what paddling is going to be used for, then it exists in a limbo where it’s proclaimed as a threat, but never actually used.

I think that might be the point of introducing paddling. Not as an actual punishment, but a symbolic tool. One used to tell the masses: “We reject coddling our children! We set them straight!” Despite this symbol, only one-third of parents gave permission for the corporal punishment. Perhaps the message of being stern to their children just isn’t reaching most parents.

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Georgia school reinstates paddling – What’s the punishment like at Amador?