Here, there are rules about gender. I was always paddled by a female, males by males. And like I said in my first post, the 7 districts that I am familiar with require the parent to be present. They will not paddle without a parent there.
I have heard horror stories about the rules not being followed, too, but I'm confident that my child's school will follow procedure. If I weren't, he wouldn't be there. There are always extreme stories to be found on every topic. I don't believe it's anywhere close to the norm in my area.
Mama to Henry (01.07), Catherine (09.11), Audrey (04.14), Clare (09.15) and our newest addition, coming July 2017!