The Thrill is Gone: Minnesota Students Are Being Deprived of Real Protest. Even in Chaska.

Do you remember the good old days when walking out of school, or skipping school, had real consequences?

When the school and teachers were your opponents?

I was in school during the 1960’s and 1970’s, graduating from high school in 1978. Remember Viet Nam? The Civil Rights movement? While much of the protesting took place at colleges and elsewhere, the high schools were going through a lot back then. Remember locker searches? Free speech cases? All the precedents we look to today were set back then. It was a wild period, and not always in a good way.

Students even walked out over school policies on hair and clothing; guys were always in trouble because of long hair and beards. And we gals wanted to wear pants, especially jeans (which we had to fight for if you can imagine that).

Students could be suspended and even kicked out of school for leaving the building or staging demonstrations. There were real consequences so you had to pick your battles and be willing to live with the consequences. (And thankfully, this is still the policy at many pubic schools.)

The school principals and teachers (often called “the man”) were always aligned against any kind of student protest. That was what made it a protest. That is frankly what made it fun. And meaningful. There was usually one “cool” teacher you could talk to but the principal? No, way.

Now in many school districts in Minnesota and around the country, the left has so deeply permeated school administrations and the teachers’ union, that they are helping students stage protests. Where is the meaning in that? They are even helping students make posters in the classrooms. providing materials and class time!

Students, where is your self respect?

In all seriousness, I think school is for learning and that students should be in class. There is plenty of time after school and on weekends for students to make their views known and participate in the civic culture.  My advice? Become an educated person, so you can make a real contribution as a legal adult. School-sponsored protests just use young people for their own political agenda.

Here is how one parent put it:

I don’t believe educating and guiding students means encouraging them to further adults political and social justice interests.The kids are kids and don’t realize they are being used. What’s really pathetic and sad are the adults in positions of authority in the school systems encouraging and condoning behavior because it coincides with their progressive world view.

To show solidarity with that progressive world view, Colleges are going out their way to tell students that a suspension for these gun-related protests will not hurt their chances for admission.

What if  students are suspended for protesting abortion? Or in favor of gun rights? Or school choice? How about Free Speech rights? Or is this just a content-selective admission policy?

We got this note from a Center member today:  “This email was sent to Chaska High School parents today…. giving tacit, if not direct support, to the anti-2nd amendment student protests today.” It came from James Bach, the Principal.

We are very proud of our students here as CHS.   Today, during the planned student walk-out in our Nation, our students organized a school walk-in to learn how to take action to promote school safety and to remember the victims of school violence.  We had approximately 400 students participate in this event.  Two senior students, Tatum Barclay and Anna Stephenson, organized this Youth Action Wins event and put together the entire presentation.  We were very impressed with our students for taking the initiative to advocate for school safety.

And here is a YouTube of Dr. Carlton Jenkins, the Robbinsdale Superintendent, who says the district does not try to influence students one way or another, but then goes on to do that very thing, calling these protests the “new civil rights movement” saying that “It is time that our students speak up…”  He is very sincere but does not seem to realize that there is a problem when a superintendent of schools uses his district for a political purpose.

The real student rebels today? They stayed in class or staged counter protests.