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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The irregulars’ rearguard



Laura told me about her National Student Walk Out experience yesterday. She was very somber; sad. All students who wanted to were ushered by 10 a.m.  into the gym of Hudson High School, to stand in silence for seventeen minutes. She often heard remarked, “This isn’t a walk out, it’s a lock down.” There was a police officer at every door, to prevent anyone leaving.

Laura and I discussed her dismay over her school’s lack of support. I told her the civil rights of any student who did plan on walking out of school had been violated (she was shocked), but it appeared to me more a problem of apathy. No adult had planned this event, or stressed the opportunity the students had to organize an event. It seemed to have snuck up and crept on by, unnoticed.

However, we continued, high school is the beginning of her adult life. It was a shame she’d missed an opportunity here to organize some solidarity, but on the other hand, she’d learned that waiting for a teacher to fulfill a promise to help them had been an empty promise, and now she knew she could do better in future, if she wished to. And, part of her college selection criteria should be campus activism.

In the afternoon I had a phone call from the Akron Beacon Journal reporter who quoted me in their weekend coverage of events being planned around the area. The photos of the Beacon reporter already were available to her, and she wanted to know how I thought our unique event went. “Did we chant?” she wanted to know.

I said we stood in support of the students in Florida; we were protesting nothing. We felt it important her readers knew we supported the next generation, and their effort to end gun violence.  She remembered I had said the gathering in Peninsula came about because I’d received an unsatisfactory answer from the Hudson school district, where my granddaughter was in high school, about their anticipated response to a National Student Walk Out. Did I know anything about their response; she had not yet contacted them.

I was happy to give her Laura’s version of the Hudson response, and sad to see nothing about Hudson reported this morning. That means I have letters to editors to write. I have three grandchildren left in high school. Beth posted video of both Caroline and Francis’ schools marching out of school as a group to honor the protest.

Yesterday was not lost on any of my grandchildren.


A group of 37 stood along Route 303 in front of the old Boston Township school in support of National School Walkout Day on Wednesday. (Phil Masturzo/Beacon Journal/Ohio.com)


36 comments:

  1. The school administration at Laura's school should be ashamed of themselves.

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  2. A good learning experience for everyone, Joanne.

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  3. Hari OM
    ...a polis man at every door??? One thing for the school to not necessarily support, but quite another to suggest they were doing wrong... GO! the letter writer... (great write up at Ohiodotcom, as far as it goes, BTW) YAM xx

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  4. This reinforces my comment from yesterday. What a huge disappointment from Hudson. I am furious. Watching news coverage of other local schools so fully involved, and then there's Hudson. I cannot believe this. And that is why the Hudson Hub was soliciting input this morning from people...I did not know there was a "media blackout," as they noted correctly. Definitely a learning experience for all involved.

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    1. I started in on letter to the editor of the several local rags, then said Fit. I'm spending my time on kids and on the ballot box. Other school districts went unreported; Woodridge, the Peninsula district, for example. And kids from one local district walked out, through a lockout. My job is to stand behind these kids, not complain about their idiot management.

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  5. I'm pleased that our district, and many in this area, supported the students. One school, however, only allowed the students to gather inside. Their reasoning was that it was for the students' safety as it was widely anticipated that many students would be gathering outside their schools and would therefore be targets for anyone who might wish them harm. I admit, I hadn't thought of that. And with the crazies out there, it does bear some legitimacy. Just a thought. I am so proud of all the students and staff who did stand together.
    Mary

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    1. That is the excuse here, too. In this climate, there is no reason for any school to have no plan in place with local police to protect students outside as well as inside. Let's all do our job!

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  6. I am so sorry about her school. That was truly cowardly of them.

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  7. Awful re: Laura’s school. Well done with demonstration - I was in the square here in solidarity

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  8. Some people perplex me. That reporter did not even understand what was happening. The school was treating the students who wished to participate in the same way companies used to treat employees who were considering unionization. My God! We are moving backward. Here you and the rest of your group were trying to call attention to a real problem wanting people to educate themselves and all the reporter could ask is if you chanted?!? Thank goodness for all the children who chose to walk out, those who wanted to walk and were not allowed to, and even for those who made a conscious decision not to walk. At least the children know to express themselves in an orderly and purposeful fashion. Phooey to all the narrow-minded people who refuse to just listen.

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  9. Good to see that there are thoughtful, caring young people there, who are prepared to stand up for what they believe is the right thing to do. We should be proud of them.

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  10. Their recognition of Florida and its horror says so much about who these young people are. Silence and sorrow.

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  11. Sigh.
    Yet another lesson learned.
    And thank you for all you do. And thank you to everyone the world over who stands up for beliefs.

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  12. My granddaughters’ school warned the kids that if they walked out they would get three days in-house suspension. Ruby told me that there was a large police presence at the school. When some students tried to leave, there were guards at the doors who would not let them pass. Some got out another door and went and stood outside for 17 minutes. There names were all taken and the suspension will be on their record which, they are told, could be looked at as a negative when they apply for college.

    Apparently, the second amendment is more important than the first and the NRA more important than our children. All they are asking for is a chance to grow up and not have to worry that some individual with his AR-15 will shoot them down.

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    1. Guarded exit doors is the most horrifying. It's a short mental leap to worse. A detention for exercising first amendment rights I'd count as a blue ribbon.

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    2. the US has been in practice a police state for some time. now they aren't even trying to hide it.

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  13. Not a small thing to consider----the NRA would much rather have the children locked away inside than out in plain view where pictures would show the numbers and the innocence of the demonstrators. Hide the outrage under the label of "keeping them safe"! Disgusting.

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  14. This is shameful on the part of the school or board or whatever. They should protest on another day.

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  15. my daughter tells me that some number of kids at my granddaughter's high school returned to the school for the 17 minute 'walk-out' even though school is out for spring break here.

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  16. My friend's kids were able to participate in a walk-out. I think that some students across the country who weren't able to participate did what they could--knelt in hallways, stood in assembly rooms, etc. Scary and weird that the doors were guarded by cops in Laura's case.

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  17. I think Starting Over summarized it all best...

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  18. We saw TV news footage of several schools with children walking out. Many, many children. Sad that Hudson High "couldn't be bothered" and I'm wondering why. It doesn't hurt to have the children miss 17 minutes of classroom time, but why confine them in the gym instead of leaving the school grounds? what is the school afraid of?

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  19. In the UK, teachers are regarded as in loco parentis whilst children are within school bounds. Only when one is at University does one's actions become one's own. If something happens to a child when they are supposed to under school care; all hell would be let loose. However, that's no excuse for cops at the doors.

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    1. The Supreme Court has ruled students have civil liberties identical to any citizens', including the first amendment.

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  20. I'm going to have to look up the second amendment even though I probably won't understand much of it.

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  21. Joanne, you'll notice the Hulk stole a comment from someone else on my blog this morning and reposted it here as his/her own.

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    1. I'm on to it. There are several "Hulks" out there. I send them to spam.

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  22. The Student Walk Out was a great idea. I hope it has some influence on those who seem to be unconcerned about the safety of the country's children.

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  23. I was upset to see how many schools tried to crush this movement with detentions and suspensions. These adults in school kids' lives could have set a better example. I think there comes a time when "the rules" need to be thoughtfully waived.

    But it was heartening to see how many kids - and the OTHER adults in their lives - took part.

    I'm so proud to know you, Joanne. You know what's right and you do it.

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  24. apathy is an all too common problem

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  25. Astonishing to me that a school in the USA would try to interfere in this action and intimidate students. The only consolation is that, through the law of unintended consequences, actions like this might help create a generation who think and stand up for themselves and demand something better!

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  26. Saddened to hear the students were kept in, it really is a bad day when we are not allowed to protest.

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