The Columbia County school board abandoned corporal punishment for pupils Tuesday.
Spanking as a form of discipline was phased out long ago in the school system, Superintendent Charles Nagle told the board, but the policy allowing it had remained on the books.
Nagle said spanking should be a parental responsibility.
"What they do at their woodshed is their business," Nagle said.
School board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco echoed Nagle's comment.
"I've always believed that type of discipline should fall into the hands of the parents," she said.
Corporal punishment is administered in U.S. schools more than 1 million times each year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The potential liabilities of spanking are too great to continue with a corporal punishment policy, even though state law allows for it, Nagle said.
"When you're paddling ... you're walking a fine line between discipline and abuse," he said.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board approved allowing middle school pupils taking both remediation-acceleration courses and music classes to skip physical education.
Those pupils, however, must continue to take a mandatory health class, which includes instruction on sex, drug abuse and alcohol.
The new scheduling policy will affect about 4.6 percent of the county's middle school pupils.
Numerous student recognitions were conducted during the school board's final meeting of 2008.
Red Ribbon Week poster contest winners recognized were Alyssa Barnes, a fourth-grader at Cedar Ridge Elementary School; Ken Bredemeier, a seventh-grader at Grovetown Middle School; and DeAndre Williams, a ninth-grader at Lakeside High School. The poster contest was part of an annual anti-drug campaign.
Drama students of Harlem High School were recognized by the Board of Education for winning the region and state championship in class AAAA last month.
In the school's history, it has won 18 region titles and four state championships in drama.
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