National School Walkout – ACLU Response

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Here is the response from the ACLU to my inquiry regarding students’ rights, and possible disciplinary actions by schools, if the students participate in or do certain things during the National School Walkout on March 14.

Dear Mr. Fredricks:

Thank you for contacting the ACLU of North Dakota.  As a general rule, children may not be punished for non-disruptive political speech while in a school building (i.e., an armband protesting the Vietnam war, a t-shirt [in some cases]).  However, “disruptive” behavior is subject to the school’s disciplinary code and the students who walk out are likely to be subject to punishment for the unexcused absences.  Because of the disruption, most courts would permit a student to be punished for chanting in school or on school grounds during school hours even if the chant is political in nature.  The severity of the punishment should be dictated by the individual district’s code of conduct, but this type of political action should not be punished more harshly because of its nature.  Basically, whatever the punishment for absence and disruption is when it occurs without a political motive should be the same punishment students receive in these March walkouts.  Students should not be punished by the district for conduct that occurs off campus at events unless the event is school-sponsored.  Is the district allowing students to walk out at 1PM with no consequences (i.e. unexcused absences)?  If so, the students may want to wait.  If there are consequences either way, they do not lose much by leaving at the earlier time.

Here is the link to a blog which may help:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/student-speech-and-privacy/can-schools-discipline-students-protesting

Thank you.

 -The ACLU of North Dakota

 

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#Enough #NeverAgain #SaveOurChildren #NRANoWay

Author: Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, proud Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger and big-time reader. (If you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff.) A ginger, too (ergo the "Red"). At age 50 I'm a newbie to tattoos - I have three now - but the kind artists at the parlor tell me it's never too late. I like hanging out with my best friend, who also happens to be my wife, watching the kids in their academic and athletic activities, writing, hiking and riding my mountain bike.

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