Michael Brown solidarity treated as crime in Missouri school

This video from the USA says about itself:

Oklahoma NAACP Journey for Justice March on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 in Oklahoma City. The march is in response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, a young 18-year-old black male, in Ferguson, MO.

By Mariah Stewart in the USA:

Missouri High School Students Warned They Risk Serious Penalties For Walkout Protests

Posted: 12/05/2014 8:20 pm EST Updated: 12/05/2014 8:59 pm EST

HAZELWOOD, Missouri — After high school students across the country walked out of class earlier this week calling for greater police accountability, one school district in the very Missouri county where teenager Michael Brown was killed chose to highlight the repercussions for students who left their classrooms.

Hazelwood School District in north St. Louis County also consulted with local law enforcement to increase school security. The stricter security measures made Hazelwood West High School feel like “a prison,” one student said.

“At lunch there are officers at every exit, and you can’t leave class to use the bathroom without a police escort,” the student told The Huffington Post.

After Hazelwood high school students walked out on Tuesday, Superintendent Grayling Tobias issued a statement noting that the district does “not condone disruptive behavior.” On Wednesday, he provided an update warning that students will face consequences if they “choose to be disruptive.”

Students who participated in walkouts could face consequences affecting “A+ status, attendance at prom or graduation, participation in athletic or other extracurricular activities and academic grades,” Tobias announced. That “A+ status” refers to a program that awards students two tuition-free years at a junior college.

Tobias, who sits on the new Ferguson Commission formed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D), stated that the school district respects its students’ First Amendment rights. …

Some students at Hazelwood East High School were seen yelling at police officers during a walkout this week. According to the school district’s Facebook page, “students identified on the video did face consequences.” …

Hazelwood School District, which covers a large chunk of north St. Louis County, has three public high schools: Hazelwood West, East and Central. Nationally, it may be best known as the subject of a landmark 1988 Supreme Court decision holding that student newspapers at public high schools are not entitled to full First Amendment protections. That case arose after Hazelwood East administrators nixed articles about divorce and teen pregnancy from the student newspaper.

Earlier this week, high school students in the neighboring Ferguson/Florissant School District also took part in the nationwide walkouts. But their protests were treated more like a field trip on free speech and public dissent — and didn’t come with heavy consequences.

Alphonse Boure, 15, a student at McCluer South-Berkeley High in Ferguson, said his school’s walkout was supported by the head principal.

“At first, the kids were all rowdy because we didn’t think the principal was going to go with it — until he told us to go to the auditorium. We sat down and we talked about it. He said if this is what we want to do, then he’ll walk with us. We walked down the street. Then we got on a bus to take us back to school,” said Boure.

He suggested the principal’s presence was part of the reason he decided to join the demonstration. “I felt safe because I was with the principal. If I just walked out and there wasn’t any guards around, then I would’ve felt like I was in trouble,” said Boure.

Similarly, at Normandy High, the school that Brown had attended, the superintendent and principal joined students in protesting on Friday, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter.

US Tea Party politician praises stoning gays

This video from the USA is called GOP Candidate Scott Esk: Let Cities Decide Whether Gays Should Be Stoned To Death.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Oklahoma Tea Party candidate claims: ‘Stoning gays was a law that came direct from God’

Facebook post quoted biblical verse sanctioning the execution of homosexuals

Tim Walker, Los Angeles

Thursday 12 June 2014

A Tea Party candidate running for office in Oklahoma has appeared to endorse the practice of stoning gay people to death.

Last year, Scott Esk, who is in the race to represent the 91st district in the State House, responded to a friend’s Facebook post about the Pope’s stance on gay people by copying and pasting Bible verses including Leviticus 20:13, which describes homosexuality as “detestable” and demands gay people be “put to death”.

When asked by another Facebook user whether he supported executing homosexuals by stoning, Mr Esk replied: “That goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realise, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”

This week, the Oklahoma magazine Moore Monthly uncovered the posts from 2013, and invited Mr Esk to clarify his position. Stoning gay people, Mr Esk said in a phone interview, was “done in the Old Testament under a law that came directly from God” he said, adding: “And in that time there it was totally just. It came directly from God.

“I have no plans to reinstitute that in Oklahoma law. I do have some very huge moral misgivings about those kinds of sins.”

Mr Esk continued: “I know what was done in the Old Testament and what was done back then was what’s just… And I do stand for Biblical morality.”

While Oklahoma is a largely conservative state, Rob Morris, the publisher of Moore Monthly, said he had never met any other Oklahomans who held views comparable to Mr Esk’s.

“Even people that don’t agree with things like gay marriage… nobody wants the death penalty for gays,” Mr Moore told RawStory.com.

Oklahoma introduced a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004. The law was overturned in January 2014 by a federal judge in Tulsa, who declared the ban unconstitutional. His decision was stayed, pending an appeal. Earlier this year one Oklahoma Republican, state Representative Mike Turner, suggested the state do away with all marriages, including heterosexual marriages, saying it was the only way to keep same-sex marriage illegal while also upholding the US Constitution.

Though there is no recent polling readily available on the level of support for same-sex marriage in the state, The Atlantic magazine has estimated, based on existing data that, in 2012, 35 per cent of Oklahomans supported same-sex marriage.

See also here.