Schools all over the country may have an attendance issue in the coming weeks.
Students seem to think they should be taken seriously on the issue of guns, and they’re going to walk out of class to prove it. As a result, many schools are threatening tough penalties for students who pull stunts like this.
Students around the United States are walking out of class to demand tougher gun laws in response to last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, but some schools are threatening them with harsh punishments.The Needville Independent School District in Texas issued a warning Tuesday that anyone who participated in a walkout or other political protest would be suspended for three days.“Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved. All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline,” Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said in a statement posted on the Needville High School Facebook page.…A school district in Waukesha, Wisconsin, sent a letter to parents telling them that the school district is not involved in a walkout that is scheduled for March 14 and that teachers and students would not be excused if they participate.“Participation in a walkout is disruptive and against school regulations, and will subject students to disciplinary measures,” Superintendent Todd Gray said in the letter.In a follow-up statement on Wednesday, Gray said the the original letter was designed to let parents know that the walkout next month was planned by an outside group with no connection to the school.“At no time have we said students cannot make a statement peacefully while staying in school,” Gray said, adding that he had not gotten requests to participate from any students or student groups.
Much as I hate to say it, the schools are right. If students are going to be enrolled in school, they’re obligated to follow the rules. They don’t get to create their own.
And one of those rules is that you stay in class.
If students take part in a walkout like this, they’re breaking those rules and face punishment. Civil disobedience is all fine and good, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore the penalties for breaking the rules like this.
As for the walkout itself, allow me to simply say, “So what?”
Even if half the students in the country walk out, it doesn’t mean much. After all, how many of them walked out due to closely held political beliefs about the need to enact gun control and how many of them walked out because it sounded like a hell of a reason to skip class?
Student walkouts are impossible to take seriously because they’re far too often used as an excuse to get out of something most teens don’t want to do anyway: go to school.
I recall a walkout planned when I was in school. Plenty of people walked out, but not a damn one could articulate to me what the walkout was for. What were they protesting? Apparently, they were protesting having to be in school and nothing more.
That’s why it’s probably a good thing that those tough penalties are being threatened. It should keep a lot of that to a minimum. And, it’ll keep most kids in their classes where they belong.