Why the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics isn’t actually “innovative”


Cartoon by Cassie Talbot

Giselle Barajas

According to Georgia state law, corporal punishment is allowed in schools under specific circumstances. Yes, you heard that right. School officials can still legally hit children in Georgia and in 19 other US states as well, and that is exactly what the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics is planning on doing.
Surely, I think it’s ironic that a school with the word “Innovation” in its name is allowing students to be hit with wooden paddles, when the definition of innovation is literally the introduction of something new. I mean, last I checked, corporal punishment is something that was left in the past, and in no means is a “new” and improved idea. If this school’s really going to allow corporal punishment, the very least they can do is drop the “Innovation” from their name.
According to TIME, parents are expressing contentment with this new policy.
“I’ve heard ‘great, it’s about time, we’re so glad that this is happening again, they should’ve never taken it out of schools,’” Superintendent Jody Boulineau told WRDW/WAGT.
The fact that there are some parents happy their kids can get hit in school is very alarming. In fact, a third of parents have already consented to the school’s corporal punishment of their kids. That’s a third too much.
Imagine all the kids who already must deal with physically abusive parents at home. For these children, school can be a safe place from all the fear and pain of being at home. Yet schools like the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics are now stripping these kids of their safe place and allowing them to be abused at school too. This is outrageous.
Any sort of physical punishment should not be the first action of discipline used against kids—let alone be used at all. All physical discipline really does towards kids—or any human being, for that matter—is instill fear. It doesn’t teach kids right or wrong, it just causes them to be afraid to do something they were physically punished for without really knowing the ‘why’ behind it.
Kids won’t ever learn from their mistakes if they don’t understand the reason why something they did was wrong. The right thing to do is to sit these young students down and explain to them why what they did wasn’t right and answer any questions they may have about the situation. Hitting them is completely unnecessary and solves nothing.
Even more so disheartening, the school will take the students they’re going to punish in “an office behind closed doors, where they will place their hands on their knees or a piece of furniture and be struck with a paddle,” according to the New York Post.
This means these kids will be taken away from the classroom and their education, only to be humiliated and beaten in a room with a wooden stick secluded from the rest of their classmates. This just sounds incredibly inhumane and wrong.
No child or person deserves this sort of treatment, and it’s up to people like us to help put a stop to this. It’s up to our generation to vote for candidates who won’t tolerate horrible things like this.