Yup, RockyMountainView, you nailed it:
The superintendent’s decree forbidding students to participate in the gun violence protest “creat[es] a…lesson which undermines his own authority…The children hold the moral high ground here.”
Now, technically, students can skirt the edict by demonstrating during their lunch break and free periods - when high many schools allow students ‘off school’ privileges. (In this case, modeforjoe is no doubt correct that the principal has no legal right to compel any behavior. Same for teachers during their lunch breaks.)
The more interesting case, however, will be those students that act in direct defiance of the decree and walk out of classes. In this case, they may well suffer consequences. But - as with the defiance of state segregation laws in the south, where men and women broke the law despite predictable legal consequences - this action will have its own forms of agency: it will be a direct action of solidarity with the dead and survivors; it will constitute a direct protest against U.S. gun laws that endanger students nationwide; and it will impress upon students the lesson of ‘speaking truth to power.’
In this right wing country, not all will support it. But the protest will nonetheless constitute an unprecedented change in attitude and action by students - among the worst victims of mass shootings - and will gain much sympathy, attention and support nationwide - not least because students do it despite the decrees of right wing administrators like Rhodes.