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Parents in the Poconos Split on Paddling in School

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — A charter school in Georgia is gaining national attention after it sent paddling consent forms home with students. With parent permis...

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. -- A charter school in Georgia is gaining national attention after it sent paddling consent forms home with students.

With parent permission, a student can now be spanked if he or she misbehaves.

This form of punishment in schools has been illegal in the state of Pennsylvania since 2005, but we found some people who can remember when it happened to them, so we asked them what they think about the new policy at a charter school in Georgia.

When a student gets in trouble at school, a common form of punishment is detention, suspension, or a day in from recess, but in Georgia, a charter school is going old school. With parental consent, students at the school outside Atlanta could be paddled if they misbehave more than three times.

"I thought that was a thing of the past," Rema Fountain said.

This form of corporal punishment in schools has been illegal in Pennsylvania for more than a decade, but it is still OK in 19 other states.

We asked parents in the Poconos if teachers should paddle students or if parents should handle it.

"I am totally against it. I think, you know, parents now these days should discipline their children at home, not at school," said Walter Donnel Jones.

"I never attended a school that had paddling and that's how I came out to be such a good guy. I never had to be paddled, but I don't think it should be in schools," James Fountain said.

Some people we spoke to remember getting hit with a ruler, not a paddle. They say it hurt, and they didn't like it. They don't think kids should have to deal with it now either. Some other people who also remember getting hit with a ruler say, if their parents say it's OK, then do it.

"Get consequences. They need consequences. A lot of things are just let go or too many chances. They don't take school and authority seriously. Paddle, give them a little paddle," Janet Stalb said.

"I think they should. Kids won't be so rude," Clarissa Birch said. "They need to learn respect, and if they can't have respect for their teacher, who are they going to have respect for? I grew up that way and I turned out OK."

So far, the parents of about 30 children at that charter school in Georgia have given the school permission to paddle.

The other students face up to a week's suspension if they misbehave more than three times.