Three students at an Arkansas high school were reportedly punished with paddles this week after leaving school to participate in the national walkout to protest gun violence.
According to multiple reports, the Greenbrier, Ark., high school students were given the choice between in-school suspension or corporal punishment, meaning paddling.
A parent of one of the students tweeted about the students' choice, adding in a follow-up tweet that the students were swatted "two times on the bum with [a] wooden paddle."
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
District superintendent Scott Spainhour confirmed to local NBC affiliate KARK that three students had participated in the walkout.
The superintendent said the students were punished for breaking rules in the school handbook, and not for protesting. He declined to say how they were punished.
Paddling is allowed at the school but requires parental approval, according to KARK.
Wylie Greer, one of the students punished after walking out, told the Daily Beast in a statement that most students at the school were opposed to the idea of the protest.
Greer said that after walking out, he and the other students were told they could “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,” Greer said.
“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,” Greer said. “I hope that this is changed, in Greenbrier, and across the country.”
Corporal punishment in schools is permitted in 22 states, including Arkansas.