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EDITORIAL: Activist march endangers children

By: The Gazette editorial board
March 8, 2018 Updated: March 8, 2018 at 10:47 am
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photo - Left-wing activists want kids to march out of schools to advocate school safety Wednesday, a month past the massacre at Florida's Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High school. Associated Press file photo.
Left-wing activists want kids to march out of schools to advocate school safety Wednesday, a month past the massacre at Florida's Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High school. Associated Press file photo. 

Left-wing activists want kids to march out of schools to advocate school safety Wednesday, a month past the massacre at Florida's Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High school.

Women's March, which partners with more than 100 left-wing organizations funded by billionaire George Soros, promotes the walkout on Action Network. The network's stated mission is "serving the entire progressive movement." Its website, ActionNetwork.org, lists partners that include Daily Kos, the socialist "New Economy Coalition," GetEQUAL — an organization so extreme it protested Hillary Clinton and the DC Capital Pride LGBTQ-rights parade in Washington for not leaning far enough left — and the National Education Association (teachers union).

"Women's March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress' inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods," says the Women's March call to action on ActionNetwork.org.

The purported cause is one all Americans should support. Our schools don't protect children from active shooters, sexual assaults by pedophile predators, or an array of other threats. They must do better.

Enticing children to walk from schools, to engage in aimless activism, jeopardizes their safety. Incredibly, at least one local school district eagerly facilitates participation.

In a March 5 email to parents, Falcon Middle School Executive Principal Brian Smith and four other administrators said they will "honor the right of students" to protest.

The students range from ages 11 to 13. Administrators call it an chance to "think critically and to be active in community leadership."

Marching in a political protest has a place, but is not "leadership." Teach these kids to lead by helping the homeless, the poor, victims of bullies, or by offering ideas to reduce school violence.

"If students leave the school grounds, then we are unable to provide ongoing supervision," the letter states.

If students leave the grounds, Smith and his administrative team could be responsible for anything that goes wrong.

Laws governing schools are based on the legal doctrine in loco parentis, Latin for "in the place of a parent." When parents send young children off to school, as compelled by law, they expect them to remain on campus under the watch of professional adults. That's why schools don't take kids on field trips without written permission from parents.

"All involved are accountable if harm comes to our children," wrote District 49 parent Richard Winn, in an emailed response to the letter from Smith and his staff.

"They're 11-13 year-old children... why are you putting these children at risk? ...When will you contact/inform us that you let our child (children) out of school and you don't know where he/she/they is/are?"

Winn considers the administrative letter a lightly veiled effort to promote the walkout.

"These young students are not activists looking for a march. The school wants to use them as activists," Winn told The Gazette.

If school administrators think young children have the answers to improving school safety, they should initiate an essay contest.

By inviting young children to join a political protest, and wringing their hands of students who leave campus, administrators endanger children under the guise of promoting school safety. They should focus more on their duties to act in loco parentis.

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