Education

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Georgia Students Could Get Spanked this Summer

July 23, 2008 09:03 AM
by Isabel Cowles
Twiggs County, Ga., has recently reinstated the use of corporal punishment in classrooms.

30-Second Summary

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This year, teachers in Twiggs County, Ga., will be allowed to paddle students who misbehave.

Although corporal punishment is illegal in most states and has become increasingly frowned upon by the educational community since the 1970s, several states have brought back the practice during the last few years.

In a 2006 report, states with the highest ranking of physical discipline were Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.

Georgia allows schools to choose whether or not to use corporal punishment. Twiggs County is opting in after facing serious school discipline problems. The Associated Press notes, “Last year, Twiggs County schools reported more than 300 student misconduct incidents and 62 fights, according to a state report. The system has about 1,100 students.”

The Twiggs County school board has sent permission slips to parents, who must ratify that teachers are allowed to use physical punishment on their children. “Sometimes these little ones are hard headed and you have to show them you mean business,” said an elementary school principal in neighboring Bibb County. “I haven’t used it often, but I have used it.”

Although some believe corporal punishment is the most effective form of discipline, others, including researchers from The Journal of Adolescent Health, see corporal punishment as a reinforcement of violence.

Headline Link: ‘Central Georgia schools bring back paddling’

Background: The resurgence of corporal punishment

Opinion & Analysis: Should corporal punishment be used in schools?

Reference: Where is corporal punishment permitted?

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