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:
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
— Jerusalem Greer (@JerusalemGreer) March 14, 2018
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.