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School reinstates paddling policy in Georgia

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HEPHZIBAH, GA (WRDW/CNN) - A charter school in Georgia is bringing back an old-fashioned form of discipline, and that has many parents up in arms.

"In this school, we take discipline very seriously," said Jody Boulineau, superintendent of Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics.

GSIC is going old school with a new policy for this year. The K through 9 charter school is bringing back paddling students as a form of discipline.

Boulineau called it one more tool in their "disciplinary toolbox."

"There was a time where corporal punishment was kind of the norm in school, and you didn't have the problems that you have," he said.

Parents got a "consent to paddle form," asking them if they're OK with administrators hitting their child with a wooden paddle.

"There's no obligation. It's not required, so a parent can either give consent for us to use that as a disciplinary measure, or they can deny consent," Boulineau said.

The form spells it out: The students will be taken to an office behind closed doors, place their hands on their knees or piece of furniture and be struck on the buttocks with a paddle.

The form says no more than three licks should be given.

Boulineau said the parent response has been a mix of positive and negative. If parents opt out of paddling, they have to agree to up to five days of suspension.

"Honestly, we feel that it's something that's not going to be used very often," Boulineau said. "Sometimes it's just kind of the threat of it being there becomes a deterrent in itself."

Less than a third of the parents who have responded have reportedly given consent for their kids to be paddled. The school said it will use a three strikes policy, meaning the paddling doesn't happen until the third offense.

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