Schools should not allow student protests
On March 14, several students from New Jersey schools will be joining a nationwide protest called #Enough National School Walkout. They're being organized by the same group that organized the Women's March on Washington the day after President Trump's inauguration. The idea is to walk out of class for 17 minutes in commemoration of the 17 students that were shot in Parkland, Florida and to call on Congress to pass gun legislation. This is something they did not do on Tuesday as Marjory Stoneman Douglas students watched in the gallery.
Regardless of how you feel about the issue of gun control or what should be done to protect our schools (you can read my opinion here), our schools, knowing that this is going to happen, should be taking steps to stop it. They are responsible for the safety of our children, who's supervising them during this "walkout"? If the argument is they don't feel safe in school, are they going to feel safer outside unsupervised? Is the school liable for anything that should happen to these students while they're out? If they are being supervised by teachers, then is it really a protest or just a controlled assembly?
If you're going for a "teaching moment," I don't think it's right to teach kids that if you don't like what's going on, just get up and leave. It's the school's job to teach, classes should be held and those who don't attend those classes should have consequences, protest or not.
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