As many as three Arkansas high school students were paddled for participating in Wednesday’s National School Walkout against gun violence, The Daily Beast is reporting.
On Wednesday, as reported by the Inquisitr, thousands of high school students walked out of class, one month after the Parkland, Florida school shooting, for 17 minutes beginning at 10:00 a.m. local time across all time zones. The event was intended to draw attention to the problem of mass shootings and to call for stricter gun control.
On Wednesday night, a Twitter user using the name @JerusalemGreer, claiming to be the parent of a student at Greenbrier Public School, alleged that her child and two others were disciplined with corporal punishment – that is to say, paddled – for participating in the walkout.
“My kid and two other students walked out of their rural, very conservative, public school for 17 minutes today. They were given two punishment options. They chose corporal punishment. This generation is not playing around. #walkout”
At this point, it bears noting that disciplinary issues in public schools are, in general, almost always kept private due to confidentiality policies. This means that, while the school did confirm that some students were “disciplined,” the school will almost certainly not confirm which discipline was meted out or to which students.
This is the Greenbrier Public School, in Arkansas.
3 students decided to walk out of class for 17 minutes yesterday to protest America’s lack of gun laws.
These 3 students now face ‘Corporal punishment’
— Brian Krassenstein???? (@krassenstein) March 15, 2018
In a lengthy statement to The Daily Beast, one of the students who was allegedly paddled, Wylie Greer, explained what he says happened to him. He says that after walking out at 10:00, being told to go back inside, and refusing, he was later brought into the office of the dean of students.
“I received my punishment during 6th period. The dean-of-students carried it out while the assistant principal witnessed. The punishment was not dealt with malice or cruelty, in fact, I have the utmost respect for all the adults involved. They were merely doing their job as the school board and school policy dictated. The ‘swats’ were not painful or injuring. It was nothing more than a temporary sting on my thighs. The dean-of-students did stress however that not all punishments like this ended this way.”
Meanwhile, Arkansas Matters spoke to the Greenbrier superintendent, who confirmed that some students were punished that day for walking out of class. He did confirm that the punishment was not for protesting, but for violating the school handbook’s policies. He did not specify how the students were punished, or provide names.
31 states have banned corporal punishment of students, while it remains allowed on the books in 19 other. Arkansas only brought back corporal punishment in 2005. And in the case of Greenbrier Public Schools, corporal punishment is only administered with a parent’s approval.
Similarly, for some infractions, Greenbrier allows students the choice between a suspension or the paddling. The school’s handbook notes that corporal punishment is not to be “excessive, or administered with malice,” and must be administered out of sight and hearing of other students, and in the presence of another school official.