Some schools are now punishing students who participated in the walk-out for gun control on Wednesday. One school is even using corporal punishment.
On Wednesday, students at thousands of schools across the country walked out of their classes to protest gun violence and demand common sense gun control. The protest marked the one month point since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.
Many schools across the country were very supportive of the students protesting. But some have decided to punish the students who participated for expressing their political beliefs.
On Friday, ThinkProgress reported,
“On Friday, 150 students at Park Hill High School in Kansas were told that they needed to serve detention or attend an administrative conference for their walkout. At Pennridge High School near Philadelphia, more than 200 students were given weekend detentions for taking part in the walkout.”
“Just to be clear, no student will be disciplined because they expressed any particular viewpoint or opinion,” Superintendent Jacqueline Rattigan said. “Rather, the disciplinary consequence will be given for willfully breaking a school rule about leaving the building without permission.”
21 students at Brandywine Heights High School in Pennsylvania were suspended because they participated in the walk-out. The school superintendent told the students that they could go to an assembly about school violence. But he told them that they were not allowed to walk out of the school like students across the country were doing. The brave students walked out anyway.
3 students in Arkansas were actually disciplined with corporal punishment. Yes, seriously.
“The worst punishment was reserved for three teenagers at Greenbier Public School in central Arkansas, who were allegedly “smacked” for taking part in the protest. “My kid and two other students walked out of their rural, very conservative public school for 17 minutes today,” Jerusalem Greer, a mother of one of the students, wrote on Twitter. “They were given two punishment options. They chose corporal punishment. This generation is not playing around.””
“According to Greenbier Public School’s policy book, students being given corporal punishment should be “given an explanation of the reasons for the punishment and be given an opportunity to refute the charges, administered privately — i.e. out of sight and hearing of other students.” The handbook adds that the school board “authorizes the use of this corporal punishment to be administered…by the Superintendent or his/her designated staff members who are required to have a state-issued license.””
This is a travesty. First of all, I can’t believe that there are still schools in the United States of America that condone corporal punishment. But even the kids who were just given detention or suspension are being treated unfairly.
These courageous kids are screaming for their lives. They don’t want to be slaughtered in their schools. Is that really so unreasonable? They are living with the very real threat of a mass school shooting on a daily basis. That’s what’s wrong here, not the kids protesting. We should be listening to these young people. We should not be punishing them for expressing their beliefs and demanding sensible gun control.