Thousands of students all over the United States are cutting class today for National School Walkout Day, which is meant to be a massive protest calling for gun control. However, this move of ditching school is already coming back to bite some of these students big time.
Slate reported that Bentonville Schools in Arkansas is one of numerous school districts all over the U.S. that warned students that they would be punished if they ditch class for the protest. The school district explained on Twitter that the students who leave school will be counted absent and receive detention just like any other student who cuts class would.
“Students who choose to participate in Wednesday’s walkout at 10 a.m. will be counted absent and assigned a detention, in accordance with the student handbook,” the school district warned.
Students who choose to participate in Wednesday’s walkout at 10 a.m. will be counted absent and assigned a detention, in accordance with the student handbook.
— Bentonville Schools (@Bville_Schools) March 13, 2018
The Needville Independent School District in Texas issued a similar warning in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. The district warned that anyone who participates in the walkout protest will receive a three day suspension, but the warning was taken down after the school received backlash from national media outlets. This particular warning resulted in the American Civil Liberties Union issuing a statement reminding school districts that they cannot punish students more harshly for participating in a protest or walkout than they normally would for any other absence.
Sadly, some liberal school districts have gone the opposite route and are actively encouraging students to leave school in protest. At Arlington Public Schools in Virginia, spokesman Frank Bellavia said that the district is supporting all students that wish to protest at their 30 schools.
“We want to encourage them to be involved, to be an active participant in their community, and to be part of these events across the nation,” he said. “They can see what the process is and be a better member of society when they leave the school system.”
Ridiculous comments like this has prompted the American Association of School Administrators to remind district officials that it is there jobs to make sure students attend school and that absences are punished accordingly.
“We’re not opposed to the walkouts, but we strongly support the National Day of Action,” AASA spokeswoman Noelle Ellerson Ng said. “Superintendents have a legal responsibility to make sure students are safe and to enforce absence and attendance policies. We also support them as they support students in their civic activities and engagement as it relates to gun safety in schools. The two don’t have to be in conflict.”
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