20 Students Punished for Planning Protest

About 20 students in Barberon, Cleveland were suspended for merely planning a walkout during school hours. The goal of the protest was to show support for the school’s teachers, who were asking for higher salaries. The protest was scheduled for 10 a.m. and students planned to go directly to the gym.

The protest did not occur, but the school administrators said a protest planned during school hours will be disruptive to the school and any effort to promote this type of protest is grounds for punishment.

The school superintendent said acceptable forms of protest include wearing buttons, making posters and speaking one’s mind. She added that the students could have received suspensions of up to 10 days.

The logic of the superintendent is reasonable. As Ayn Rand once said, you might want to stop a juggernaut, but you shouldn’t stand in front of it. Instead of a walkout during school hours, the students could have staged a protest before or after school, and probably could have held it on school grounds.

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