The Lanier County Board of Education will vote soon on whether corporal punishment should be reinstated in their schools. The Board requested that a draft policy be written concerning a protocol of how and when such disciplinary action could be used, and the issue will be voted on at its May 9 meeting.

This decision may seem like a return to the Dark Ages for some, but we applaud it as a timely and necessary return to the days of consequences.

Many children are no longer taught self control or discipline at home. They don't respect their parents or teachers, and the schools are spending too much time and money on trying to find ways to deal with out of control students. Their job may be to educate, not to parent, but if parents don't teach children right from wrong, who will?

Several recent highly publicized events in the national news highlight the need for teachers and principals to be allowed to once again rule the schools. Students once had a healthy fear of being sent to the principal's office, because they knew there were consequences for bad behavior. And children also once knew that what they faced at school was nothing compared to what they faced at home if they misbehaved.

Today's children talk back to their teachers, the principals and their parents. The feel-good philosophies of the last decade are not working. You need look no further than daily headlines concerning out of control children, even at the elementary school level, having to be restrained by police, to understand that a return to the old days may not be such a bad idea.

Talk to teachers who've been around long enough to remember a time when paddling was allowed in school, and you'll find a group of educators who also remember a time when students respected their parents and teachers as well as the teacher's authority in a classroom. Those same teachers today are frustrated with a system that won't allow them to properly control their classrooms in order to teach, and the results are showing in attitudes and test scores.

The Lanier County school board's proposed protocol clearly outlines when and how paddling students can take place. This form of discipline will only be used as a last resort, after other methods have failed.

We urge the board to adopt the policy and hope that other school systems will consider following their lead.

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