One of the criticisms of the anti-Second Amendment student walkouts last month was the knowledge that, prior to then, few other issues would have gotten the administrations’ support like those walkouts did.
However, not every school out there is taking a political position on the topic of guns. This is a good thing, especially for public schools that survive off taxpayer dollars.
Maureen Downey of The Atlanta Journal disagrees, however.
The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State University pursue top students like Mallory Harris, Thomas Moore and Marisa Pyle because they expect them to tackle the hard problems and make the world a better place.
And these three students, all of whom attend UGA, are taking on a challenge their elders haven’t been able to solve — the gun violence that makes America vulnerable to school shootings like the deadly one in Parkland, Fla.
(Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death among U.S. children aged 1 to 17 years.)
So far, neither the UGA students nor like-minded peers at Tech or GSU have gotten even a crumb of official support for their efforts from their campuses or the Board of Regents.
Many of the nation’s top universities applauded the March 14 national school walkout, in which close to a million students walked out of classes for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students and staff killed at Majory Stoneman Douglas High a month earlier in a six-minute shooting rampage.
But there’s been only silence from Georgia’s public campuses, although faculty and students have risen in defense of the high school activists. Many college students across Georgia attended and helped organize rallies around the state, including Harris, Moore and Pyle.
The problem, it seems, isn’t that activists are being blocked from protesting, but that school administrators are not actively giving them help. They’re asking this of the same administrators who are supposed to represent all students, including those who support the Second Amendment.
Further, Downey forgets that Georgia is a deeply red state, well steeped in pro-Second Amendment tradition. How does she think the Georgia General Assembly and Republican Governor Nathan Deal will react to public colleges actively taking a political position? While it might be nice to think they’ll do nothing, do administrators at Georgia’s perpetually cash-strapped universities really want to risk that?
The reality here, however, is that colleges are supposed to be neutral.
Students have their thoughts and desires, things they’re passionate about, which is all fine and good. Colleges owe those students the opportunity to voice those opinions in the name of free speech–to a point, at least. When it disrupts academics, it crosses a line, but up until that point? Fine. What they don’t owe them is “support.”
The problem as these students and Downey seem to see it, though, is that colleges should be liberal, anti-gun turf, and how dare these administrators not acknowledge this “fact.” They’ve gone off the plantation and now need to be rounded up and reminded of their place.
And, in their mind, screw anyone who foots the bill for these schools who don’t agree with them.