SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT?
Juneau high school students walked out of school Wednesday to take their message of school safety to the state’s Capitol, where many lawmakers, such as Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott greeted them warmly. Perhaps it reminded them of the 1960s.
But for the event, adults were specifically asked to let the students have their event without grownups crushing in for photo opportunities.
That memo never made it to the desk of Rep. Justin Parish, District 34 Democrat, who made himself the center attraction, which attracted the sarcastic comment in the meme above.
Below, Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Mallott were able to take instruction and stood in back.
For reasons unknown, the media never went to Juneau-Douglas High School to learn about the students who didn’t participate in the walk out.
A statement from the school district was issued in advance of the walkout that indicated this was a “free day” for students and no disciplinary action would be taken:
The Juneau School District is aware that some students are planning school walkouts at 10:00 am on March 14, 2018 as part of an upcoming National School Walkout. The principals at our secondary schools are communicating with their staff and student leaders regarding this planned walkout. Schools are not promoting this activity and it is important for parents to know that these are not school sponsored or school sanctioned events.
The Juneau School District respects students’ First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. We will not discipline students for the act of peaceful protest. As a district, we want to acknowledge and support students in their advocacy for safe schools.
The best way for us to ensure student safety during the school day is to know where our students are—that’s simply not possible once they leave school grounds. If students choose to participate in the walkout, the school’s rules and policies regarding student attendance will apply. Schools and classes will continue on their normal schedule. If you want to excuse your child from class to allow them to participate, please contact your school’s attendance office. Absences that are not excused by a parent will be treated as unexcused and normal consequences will apply.
The Juneau School District also respects the right of school employees to engage in political activities on their own time. Staff members will not participate in walk outs or protests in the course of their work, and will remain neutral on issues that are political in nature in the presence of students.
As always, the safety of our students is our priority. We are proud that our students want to exercise their First Amendment rights to express their views on this important topic. We will work together to find ways of doing this within our existing school rules and in a manner that works for each school community and maintains a safe learning environment. When students advocate for an issue they feel passionate about, it can be a powerful learning experience. We also recognize that some students may not want to participate in a walk out and would prefer to stay in class. We want to ensure that all students feel safe and respected, no matter what they choose to do.