St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd Takes a Beating Over Public Caning Tweet

Alderman Jeffrey Boyd claims he was just "generating some conversation" when he asked if criminals should be publicly caned in St. Louis - THEO WELLING
Alderman Jeffrey Boyd claims he was just "generating some conversation" when he asked if criminals should be publicly caned in St. Louis

St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd raised eyebrows this week as he took to Twitter to pontificate on the efficacy of corporal punishment for criminals and children alike.

Sharing a link to a 1994 New York Times story titled "Canings for Vandals Proposed in St. Louis," Boyd wrote, “Who remembers this & what do you think about it today? Could it save taxpayers money if criminals were caned and let go rather than jail? Could public humiliation work?”


The Twitter pile-on from outraged havers of common sense was immediate and substantial, with commenters quickly hopping on the post to express their disapproval and bewilderment. "Jeff is everything okay at home?" inquired one. "Did someone cane you in the head?" asked another. "You really should have an opinion on state-sanctioned public beatings," opined a third.

But Boyd was just getting started. The next day he fired up the tweet machine again to wonder aloud if maybe we should let teachers beat the asses of their students as well.

“Do anyone remember when the @SLPS_INFO had a paddle that had ‘BOE’ engraved on it?” he wrote. “Teachers and Administrators rarely had a problem with discipline and children were able to truly learn without a lot of disruptions......”

Two consecutive days of “maybe we should beat people lol” missives might give your average person the impression that Boyd thinks that maybe we should beat people, but the alderman claimed to the Post-Dispatch that he “was just generating some conversation.”

But the fact of the matter is that, yeah, you probably should have a current position on public beatings, Jeff — because they are bad! They are so bad that they are expressly prohibited by the Bill of Rights, even. You should probably know that!

And to answer your question: No, apparently public humiliation does not work — otherwise you would have dropped this line of “conversation” when the internet kicked your ass the first time.

About The Author

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill is editor at large for the Riverfront Times and he demands to be taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.
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