-- Associated Press 27 Sept. 2000

Georgia Paddling Investigated

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and child welfare officials are investigating the paddling of a sixth-grader at Wilkinson County Middle School.

Michael Lowery, who has attention deficit disorder, suffered blisters and bruises when the school principal struck him three times on the buttocks for getting into a shoving match with a classmate last week, said his mother, Cathy Vinson.

Corporal punishment is legal in Wilkinson County, east of Macon in middle Georgia. But Vinson said this paddling went too far. ''This wasn't a whupping. This was abuse,'' she told WAGA-TV in Atlanta.

The GBI is looking into the matter at the request of the county sheriff's office, and Vinson also contacted the county Department of Family and Children Services. Department Director Lisa Wicker said her office will investigate whether the punishment went too far.
-- Associated Press 27 Sept. 2000