Recently there has been much talk in the Dumas community surrounding a planned protest on this upcoming Friday, November 17th by the Protect Children Project, a movement backed by a non-theistic organization known as The Satanic Temple. The protest is against physical punishment against students by Dumas Schools.

As outlined in the Dumas ISD Student Handbook, corporal punishment, such as spanking or paddling, may be used as a disciplinary method unless a parent submits a signed, written statement explicitly prohibiting its use.

In response to this planned protest, the Dumas Independent School District stated that they will implement additional security measures on Friday.

The Protest

The Protect Children Project intends for this protest to remain a peaceful demonstration outside Dumas High School, which will take place both before and after school hours. These protests are a national effort by The Satanic Temple in an effort to voice opposition to the district's practice of corporal punishment.

According to the Satanic Temple, membership cardholders can claim religious exemption from corporal punishment.

“Students can carry this card with them in school and show it to any faculty member who threatens to violate their rights through corporal punishment, seclusion, restraint, or denial of bathroom access,” states Costus. “If the card is ignored and they are punished, it will open the door to civil and possibly criminal liabilities.” The “Student Rights Card” is free to download on The Satanic Temple’s website in English and Spanish.

The Satanic Temple

Public Reactions

In preparation for this demonstration, the school district has collaborated with the City of Dumas Police Department, Moore County Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety to ensure a safe and orderly environment.

This planned protest has also sparked much discussion in the community regarding the presence of these protests, bringing out local organizations such as the First Baptist Church of Dumas to make an official statement regarding this protest.

There will be area pastors present both Friday morning and afternoon, simply to be a presence of love and safety for students who may feel uncomfortable with the situation. These are opportunities for conversations, prayer, and fellowship. If you would like to be present in this way, you are welcome.

First Baptist Church Dumas

Although this ensuing protest caused It is expected by some that the turnout for this protest may be relatively small. It is currently unknown the exact number of protesters that are expected to show up.

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