Lynching is a violent part of American history. Not only was it used to terrorize us, it was also an attempt to use white power to control Black people who dared to question white society.
So what does it have to do with today’s school-aged children?
You might not be surprised to know that areas with a history of lynching also tend to be places that allow corporal punishment, most often paddling, in public schools.
And Black children are disproportionately targeted for this violence! But it gets worse.
After the Civil War, Southern states were mandated to provide equal education to Black students. Many white parents, who until then had argued against physically punishing students in schools, suddenly became advocates of corporal punishment!
And we see the legacy of this in schools today.
The urge to hurt Black children is so strong that it still happens in places where corporal punishment is illegal. Even in some districts in Louisiana, Florida, Washington, DC, Mississippi, Illinois, and elsewhere that have banned the practice, children are STILL being beaten by teachers without consequence.
Racial violence is ingrained in our educational system, and Black students receive the brunt of it, even in schools where this practice is supposedly banned. This is institutional racism at its finest, and it cannot go unaddressed. We must ensure WE control our children’s education!