A school in the US state of Georgia is asking parents to consent to allowing their children to be spanked with a wooden paddle as a form of punishment.
The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics sent a letter to parents requesting to paddle students after their third behavioural infraction.
Students who are not authorised to be paddled will instead face a suspension.
“In this school we take discipline very seriously,” Superintendent Jody Boulineau told local media.
“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 added.
“It’s just one more tool that we have in our disciplinary toolbox that we can use,” he told WRDW-TV.
The school, located in Hephzibah, roughly 20 miles (32km) south of Augusta, sent a form to parents outlining the new guidelines, saying: “A student will be taken into an office behind closed doors.
“The student will place their hands on their knees or piece of furniture and will be struck on the buttocks with a paddle.”
The form also says “no more than three licks should be given”.
The policy at the kindergarten through ninth grade charter school (roughly ages five to 15) has raised eyebrows on social media, with some pointing out the “old school” nature of the punishment.
According to the superintendent, about 100 forms have been returned so far with about one third of parents giving their consent.
Mr Boulineau argues that the policy should be viewed as a deterrent, saying that the practice “won’t be used very often”.
Students whose parents have not authorised paddling can receive a suspension of up to five days.
Georgia is one of 20 states which allows corporal punishment in school.
It is rare for a school district to have an official policy on the practice, according to US media.
More than 200,000 students were paddled during the 2009-10 academic year, according to Vox.com.
Source BBC News