Friday, March 16, 2018

National Student Walkout Against Gun Violence: Arkansas Students Receive Corporal Punishment for Walkout

As a footnote to what I've posted in the past few days about the National School Walkout, I thought I'd tell you about what happened at a school in Greenbrier, Arkansas, when several students walked out to show their solidarity with students across the country protesting gun violence: the students were paddled by school officials for taking part in the walkout. The mother of one of these students, Jerusalem Greer, an Episcopal lay minister, posted about this on Twitter, and her tweet (it's at the head of this posting) has gone viral. 

Tatyana Bellamy-Walker wrote about the Greenbrier story, featuring Jerusalem Greer's tweet, for Daily Beast. As she notes, linking to a Washington Post article by Valerie Strauss, Arkansas is among 19 states — the bulk of them bible-belt states dominated by white evangelicals — that still legally permit corporal punishment in public schools. Savage and barbaric? You bet. 

But deeply rooted in the religious ethos of places dominated by white evangelicals, where repression, including physical repression, has long been used to keep people "in their place" — including mouthy, refractory students speaking out about their desire not to see themselves and their peers shot to death while they're in school. 

Oh, and by the way — and not in the least coincidentally — 78 percent of white evangelicals still support the moral monstrosity in the White House, according to a Pew Forum statement issued yesterday.

Some thought-worthy responses to Jerusalem Greer's tweet about her son's corporal punishment for walking out of school in Greenbrier, Arkansas:

As I say, savage and barbaric. And deeply rooted in the white evangelical culture of this area.

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