Corporal punishment is still going strong in some rural Georgia schools, where educators paddled students more than 16,000 times last year.
No traditional public school in Atlanta and nine nearby school districts has paddled a child since at least 2007, but corporal punishment is used in more than half of the state’s 180 school districts, according to discipline data analyzed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Corporal punishment makes up only a fraction of other disciplinary measures used, such as in-school and out of school suspension.
Morris Leis Superintendent of Coffee County School System holds a graph that shows a decline in corporal punishment in Coffee County … read more
Atlantans may consider thick wooden paddles wielded by educators to be an anachronism, but numbers obtained from the Georgia Department of Education show that 97 school districts last year adhered to that axiom about sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
The conflicting views about paddling would seem to highlight opposing notions of child-rearing and discipline: On one side are those who believe it’s important to show kids who’s boss; on the other are parents who prefer to talk it out.
However, interviews by the AJC indicate another factor in the acceptance, or rejection, of corporal punishment in schools: some parents who said they oppose paddling in school are fine with spanking their own children at home. They just don’t want a stranger doing it. In some parts of the state, teachers and principals are not considered strangers.