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#ExposeChristianSchools goes viral after Karen Pence and Covington Catholic School uproars

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Some of these stories are truly heartbreaking.

Twitter users now have a platform to discuss their experiences at Catholic and Christian schools—#ExposeChristianSchools.

In many cases, the tweets tell tales of harassment, intolerance, and restrictive religious rules.

The hashtag started Friday in response to the news that Karen Pence, the Second Lady of the U.S., would be teaching art at a Christian school which asked students, their parents, and teachers to denounce homosexuality. Chris Stroop started the hashtag, specifically calling out Vice President Mike Pence and David French, a conservative writer who defended the school’s policies. Stroop called on others to discuss their experience using the hashtag.

The momentum continued in the wake of a video, which surfaced on Saturday, of a group of boys from Covington Catholic school in Kentucky. In the video, the boys can be seen surrounding Vietnam veteran and Omaha tribe elder Nathan Phillips. They chant and stand uncomfortably close to Phillips, with one boy staring smugly in Phillips’ face.

The behavior of the boys in the video has been condemned by people across the country, including members of Congress and Covington Catholic School representatives.

The rise of the hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools has shed light environments where harmful behaviors, like misogyny and homophobia, are tolerated and fostered.

https://twitter.com/snailswammies/status/1086992026443370496

“I was told my entire time in Catholic middle and high schools BY THE STAFF that being anything but straight was ‘rejecting God’s gift’,” one user wrote. “The only open lesbian couple was bullied relentlessly until one graduated and the other switched schools.”

“My all girls school took me to the March for Life rally, told me to yell at protesters and handed me a sign with an aborted baby on it. I was 11,” user @enterc1evername added.

One user even broke down an annual “slave day” fundraiser that her school held. “My school had a slave day. Each year the jr class was auctioned off in the chapel; the auctioneer – a teacher – held a whip,” she wrote. “Other students would ‘own’ them for a day. Was a fundraiser. Couldn’t have prom/dances, but we had Slave Day.”

Some called out the quality of their education, as well.

Stroop told the Daily Dot via Twitter DM that they plan to launch the hashtag #ExposeChristianHomeschooling as a way to include people who were subject to religious indoctrination via homeschooling.

“It’s all of a piece when it comes to right-wing Christian indoctrination and isolation of children, so they can be mobilized for the culture wars,” they said.

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.