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Anorak | School canes teenagers for participating in national school walkout

School canes teenagers for participating in national school walkout

by | 18th, March 2018

17th May 1972: School children holding a demonstration in Hyde Park against caning in schools. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

 

Three pupils at Greenbrier Public School in Arkansas who partook of national school walkout day on March 14, 2018 – part of a protest against gun violence after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were murdered – were reprimanded in the old fashioned way: two swipes of a paddle across the buttocks.

A mother of of the of the spanked students did as she must and took to twitter. @JerusalemGreer tweeted:

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.

This generation got off lightly. Two spanks is not six of the best. When British children walked out of school in 1972,  Prime Minister Edward Heath mobilised MI5 and Special Branch to monitor the schoolchildren revolutionaries. Mr Heath asked Margaret Thatcher, then the Education Secretary, to compile a report which warned: “Some boys and girls are already beginning to develop political attitudes in an immature way…”
The tweeting mother’s son, Wylie Greer told all to the Daily Beast:

Walking out of class at ten on Monday morning was not an easy thing. Many students were vocally insulting and degrading to the idea of the walk-out and anyone who would participate. At 10:00, I walked out of my classroom to a few gaped mouths and more than a few scowls. I exited the building, sat on the bench, and was alone for a few seconds. I was more than a little concerned that I would be the only one to walk out. I was joined by two others eventually, two of the smartest students at the school. We sat outside the front of the building and were approached first by the principal, who asked us “if he could help us” and “if we understood that there would be consequences.” After we answered affirmatively, he went back inside. A few minutes passed and the dean-of-students approached us. He asked “what we were doing,” we told him that we were protesting gun violence. He told us to go inside. We refused.

After the 17 minutes had passed, we re-entered the building and went to our classes. Over the next two hours, all three of us were called individually to talk with the dean-of-students. He offered us two choices of punishment, both of which had to be approved by our parents. We would either suffer two ‘swats’ from a paddle or two days of in-school suspension. All three of us chose the paddling, with the support of our parents.

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.

I believe that corporal punishment has no place in schools, even if it wasn’t painful to me. The idea that violence should be used against someone who was protesting violence as a means to discipline them is appalling. I hope that this is changed, in Greenbrier, and across the country.

Wylie A. Greer

Class of 2018

Greenbrier High School, Arkansas

The Daily Beast says it tried to speak with Greenbrier Public School, but the assistant principal hung up on them.

Image: 17th May 1972: School children holding a demonstration in Hyde Park against caning in schools.



Posted: 18th, March 2018 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink