News and Commentary

In Capitol Riot Aftermath, People Are Contacting Sen. Josh Hawley’s High School Demanding It ‘Condemn’ The Alumnus
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 6: In this screenshot taken from a webcast, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks during a Senate debate session to ratify the 2020 presidential election at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. via Getty Images

Critics of Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley are contacting the all-boys Jesuit high school from which he graduated more than twenty years ago to express their displeasure with the role they claim he played in Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Hawley, a 1998 graduate of Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, has supported President Donald Trump’s appeal to reject the election results both before and after last week’s rebellion that resulted in five deaths. He has been accused of nonverbally inciting those who stormed the Capitol building for the cause. However, he did issue a statement calling for the violence to end and people who broke the law to be prosecuted. President-elect Joe Biden recently likened Hawley to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

As the Kansas City Star reports, Rockhurst High “has received calls from across the country requesting it ‘condemn’ the alumnus in the wake of the mob attack.” According to the Star, school president David J. Laughlin recently acknowledged that people had asked the institution to take action in a letter to “The Rockhurst Community.”

“Indeed, calls have come to Rockhurst from across the Country to condemn alumnus Josh Hawley, filled with judgment for his actions, motivations, inspirations, and purpose,” Laughlin reportedly wrote. “All of these have been communicated to Rockhurst with factual certainty from the senders’ perspective regarding Senator Hawley.”

Laughlin did not directly condemn Hawley and pointed out that the Catholic school does “not endorse political candidates nor parties.”

“I call upon all of our elected officials, including our graduate Senator Josh Hawley, to conduct their own examination of conscience on this matter,” the letter continued. “If wrong occurs, one ought to seek atonement and reconciliation. These are the Christian principles Rockhurst teaches when wrong has occurred.”

The K.C. Star provides more details on Hawley’s background:

Hawley was born in Springdale, Arkansas, in 1979, and two years later his family moved to Lexington, in Lafayette County, about an hour northeast of Kansas City. While at Rockhurst, he was on the debate/forensics team and was a state champion in extemporaneous speaking, a Rockhurst spokesman said Friday. He went on to graduate from Stanford University in 2002 and then Yale Law School in 2006.

Hawley, 41, served as Missouri attorney general before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018. He has been described as the protégé of former Missouri Republican Sen. John Danforth, who now regrets taking Hawley under his wing.

“I thought he was special,” Danforth said on Thursday. “And I did my best to encourage people to support him both for attorney general and later the U.S. Senate and it was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Danforth said Hawley “has consciously appealed to the worst,” adding, “he has attempted to drive us apart and he has undermined public belief in our democracy.”

Danforth told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Wednesday’s mayhem “was the physical culmination of the long attempt (by Hawley and others) to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system.”

“It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn’t work and that voting was fraudulent,” he continued.

Hawley said in a statement on Thursday: “I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections. That’s my job, and I will keep doing it.”

On Saturday, hundreds of protesters reportedly gathered in downtown St. Louis to demand Hawley’s resignation.

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