Next week, students across the country are planning to walk out of their classrooms to protest politicians' inaction on gun reform. Ten days later, they're planning a march. In Seattle, high school student organizers for the local March For Our Lives rally created a Facebook event that now has 7,400 RSVPs. Recognizing the activism of high school students in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the ACLU of Washington has released a guide for student protesters considering walkouts and other actions.
Some top-line points from the guide:
• You're allowed to express your political views at school, and the school can't censor you—barring "substantial disruption of the operation of the school," legally "obscene" content, or slander.
• A school can discipline you if you miss class for a protest, but not more than any other unexcused absence from other students.
• You don't have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, (which was created at the turn of the century and added "under God" in 1954).
• If your school does try to censor you, you can ask school officials for their written policies on speech. Still, even if you ask for those policies, school officials can still overreact to lawful free speech, and in that case you "may have to defend yourself in a meeting with school officials or even go to court to protect your rights."
Read the rest here, and share with the Youth.