Skipping out on class to protest is trending again as students at high schools across the nation walk off their campuses during school hours in order to protest guns, violence, and President Trump in the wake of the deadly Florida high school shooting on Feb. 14. But one high school has decided to hand out punishments to students who are protesting when they’re supposed to be in class.
Students at Riverview Gardens High School were warned that they could be suspended if they left campus Tuesday morning for a rally. They left anyway and were surprised at what was waiting for them when they returned, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Protesting students flooded out of the St. Louis, Missouri campus holding signs like “Teachers don’t need guns!” and “Is your semi-automatic worth my life?” They marched their way to a busy access road for the freeway but found themselves blocked from entering the road by police.
When the protesters tried to return to campus, officers blocked them from reentering, informing them that they would not be allowed to return for the rest of the day. They also wouldn’t be allowed to ride the schools’ buses and would have to arrange another way to get home with their guardians.
“We should be able to have a peaceful protest without getting in trouble,” 14-year-old freshman Destiney Young insisted.
The high school went as far as to send all the parents a voice message warning them that their child may be participating in an unsanctioned protest and could be punished for it. One mother, though, believes her protesting daughter should not face any consequences.
“I think it’s wrong, and they will hear from me,” Tracy Cross said.
AJ+, a news outlet run by the Al Jazeera Media Network, claims the students were later let back in.
Ironically, one of the demands student protesters were making as they fled the safety of their campus during school hours was for the school administration to build a higher fence around the campus to keep them safe.
What do you think of this? In related news, a similar anti-violence school walkout in California turned violent. But in New Jersey, students walked out for a different reason after one of their favorite teachers made controversial comments about the Florida high school shooting.