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As Students Across US Plan Walkouts to Demand Gun Control, Texas School District Threatens to Suspend Participants

As Students Across US Plan Walkouts to Demand Gun Control, Texas School District Threatens to Suspend Participants

Julia Conley, staff writer

As students across the country pledge to take part in demonstrations in the coming weeks to demand stricter gun control after last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, one Houston-area school district is facing criticism after announcing that students will be punished for participating in protests.

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By state law, you’re supposed to attend X hours of class. You need to attend X hours of class, and this is only modified by approved absences for illness, etc.

Now if they want to make political actions some kind of approved absence, great. But this will also mean that any student can access the same time off for any political work of their own choice, even ones you don’t like.

As for the teachers, they can take their own vacation days, sick days, or whatever, but they should be docked the hours if they’re not doing this, and getting public pay for political activism during regular hours.

Get real. This is an extraordinary circumstance, plus teaching our children to exercise their right to free speech is an important civic lesson and should be encouraged by the school, not undermined by it.

Your pedantic mind probably can’t handle it, but the world isn’t made of black and white rules like those you attempt to bring into play here; rather it is full of shades of gray. A smart superintendent would be encouraging his teachers to take advantage of this as a teaching opportunity. Instead, he’s creating a wholly different lesson which undermines his own authority.

The children hold the moral high ground here, even if you can’t see it.


If that superintendent isn’t reprimanded or fired for threats against children for exercising their First Amendment rights, the parents of those children and local law enforcement must arrest and incarcerate this superintendent, and charge him with verbal threats.


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.


Consider the protest a recognized Civics Class project - freedom of assembly in action - and give credit as though it were a class trip to the courthouse/zoo/industrial plant/farm. The narrow minded authoritarian restrictive attitude by the school superintendent reflects an alternative to a democracy that holds the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the life blood of a functioning democracy.


Here is the contact information on this prick:



“Consider the protest a recognized Civics Class project”

So it may be considered, Elenarose - though, where democracy is sick, “freedom of assembly” under duress may be what’s on the table…and bring its own lessons…

“if they want to make political actions some kind of approved absence…this will also mean that any student can access the same time off for any political work of their own choice-”

Abort mission, Operative John! Do not - DO NOT bring the Orange Haired Aryan Youth for Trump to Texas, or I will personally kick your ass so hard you’ll taste shoeshine for a month.

Now grovel and tell me who’s your boss and whose bitch you are. Do it NOW, John.

Mistress Sarah Huckabee Sanders


Interesting: Isn’t this exactly what this authoritarian superintendent is doing?


“F” that: When I was their age at the height of the Vietnam War every student got up in unison, and walked out. Period. No fear. I am proud of these kids and repelled by all the self serving authoritarians. My hope is that this crisis along with the other two threats to their future–climate collapse and nuclear winter-- will galvanize everyone and bring the damn system to a halt. Time for a new nation and a new people to be born.


There is only one answer to this outrage: students walk out and take your punishment; parents support your kids in their decision; teachers let 'em dock your pay for supporting this student movement. Protest was never easy; but better yet, the school is going to allow you the ability to make their punishment of you play right into your hands. The book, " Everything We Needed to Know We Learned in Kindergarten", was correct. Br’er Rabbit knew just what he was doing, eh!

Yep, there’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. Now we’re really thinking.

Beautifully said and to the point. I can smell revolution in the air!


Wonderful posting! Thx!