Students are being punished for walking out to protest gun violence

Students are being suspended, given detentions, and even corporal punishment, for participating in the national walk out.


On Wednesday, thousands of students nationwide participated in a mass day of protest, peacefully walking out of school to protest gun violence.

Although many schools utilized staff, local law enforcement, and even volunteers, in order to support the participating students and keep them safe, some schools are under fire for punishing those that chose to participate.

A mom in Arkansas wrote on Twitter this week that her child, along with two others, were given “swats” by their school in central Arkansas:

Greer responded to one Twitter user who asked for addition details, stating the teenagers were swat “two times on the bum with wooden paddle.”

According to the 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 also states 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.”

A school district in New Jersey plans to punish students that participated in the walkout with two days of out-of-school suspension.

150 students at Park Hill High School in Kansas were told that they had the choice between an administrative conference or detention for attention the walkout.

At Pennridge High School in Pennsylvania, more than 200 students were given weekend detentions for taking part. Superintendent for the school district, Jacqueline Rattigan, says that the punishment is for students, “willfully breaking a school rule about leaving the building without permission.”

At another High School in Pennsylvania, Brandywine Heights, 21 students were suspended. These student chose to participate in the walkout rather than attend the symposium on school violence the school offered.

The day of action consisted of a 17-minute walkout to protest gun violence, in honor of the 17 students and staff that died in the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.


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Alexandra Jacobo is a dedicated progressive writer, activist, and mother with a deep-rooted passion for social justice and political engagement. Her journey into political activism began in 2011 at Zuccotti Park, where she supported the Occupy movement by distributing blankets to occupiers, marking the start of her earnest commitment to progressive causes. Driven by a desire to educate and inspire, Alexandra focuses her writing on a range of progressive issues, aiming to foster positive change both domestically and internationally. Her work is characterized by a strong commitment to community empowerment and a belief in the power of informed public action. As a mother, Alexandra brings a unique and personal perspective to her activism, understanding the importance of shaping a better world for future generations. Her writing not only highlights the challenges we face but also champions the potential for collective action to create a more equitable and sustainable world.