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Sanctioned Walkout : We’ve been incredibly lucky because we’ve had the support of the administration on our side. Without their support, it would not have been possible to make the walkout as successful, organized, or safe.

RHS

The following was posted yesterday at https://www.tipsfromtown.com/why-and-how-rhs-students-are-joining-the-walkout/:
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After the Parkland shooting, a number of students approached Dr. Thomas Gorman (Principal of Ridgewood High School) with the intent of taking action against gun violence. I had spoken to my parents about how I really wanted to be involved with making change, so I was one of the students who spoke to Dr. Gorman. There was a large meeting where we all voiced our opinions and ideas for how victims of gun violence should be honored while still pushing for change. A few days prior, I had gotten in contact with other students … we formed a club called Students Demand Action We spoke to Mr. Michael Yannone about being our faculty advisor, and he agreed.
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We had two meetings a week, where we decided on our message for the walkout. While we are passionate about gun violence and creating change, we were still mindful this is an event that would happen during school. We made a conscious effort to steer away from a strict political standpoint, so we could include as many people as possible. At the meetings, we talked about how feeling safe in schools should not be a privilege — it should be a right. We also talked about how although we are anti-gun violence, we are not anti-guns. We want school to be a place where we should be able learn and grow without worrying about whether our safety is at risk. Once we decided on our message, we divided into groups. The groups ranged from communicating via social media, hanging flyers up around school, and working with teachers to get student photographers to cover the walkout. We’ve been incredibly lucky because we’ve had the support of the administration on our side. Without their support, it would not have been possible to make the walkout as successful, organized, or safe.
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Students Demand Action acknowledges and respects the students who do not wish to participate.
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Tomorrow, we walk. At 10 am, students will gather together on the front lawn of Ridgewood High School. Student speakers will present their speeches about how they have been affected and their demands for school safety. After 17 minutes, there will be a moment of silence for victims of gun violence, this number symbolic of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. Although it is strictly a school event, it will be streamed via Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the other Ridgewood schools and the Ridgewood community to watch.

9 thoughts on “Sanctioned Walkout : We’ve been incredibly lucky because we’ve had the support of the administration on our side. Without their support, it would not have been possible to make the walkout as successful, organized, or safe.

  1. Parents Argue School District’s Decision to Allow Student Walkout Breaks Law
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    by DR. SUSAN BERRY
    14 Mar
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    A group of parents from New Milford, Connecticut has hired an attorney to articulate their concerns about the decision by their school district to allow students to participate in the national student walkout held Wednesday to advocate for gun control.
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    In an email sent to Breitbart News, the parents – who wish to remain anonymous – argue the student walkout might appear to be a fairly innocuous First Amendment event to honor the students killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting and to advocate for gun control.
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    However, the parents add, the decision involves issues concerning “adherence to law and policy, the manipulation of minors, the misuse of tax dollars, and indoctrination and political activism during school hours.”
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    They are especially concerned the student walkouts were organized by the Women’s March, an anti-Trump organization with ties to radical anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan.
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    In an interview with Breitbart News, the parents’ attorney, Deborah Stevenson – with expertise in constitutional and education law – spoke about the parents’ issues with their school district’s decision to allow students to participate in the walkout.
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    On March 12, Stevenson sent a letter to the New Milford Board of Education, superintendent Joshua D. Smith, and New Milford High School principal Greg P. Shugrue – which she made available to Breitbart News. Stevenson wrote:
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    My clients have asked me to notify you that this event violates state law, on the basis that state and local public funds are being used improperly to advocate for a political issue and to influence how voters will vote. Because it violates state law, we demand that the New Milford Public School District’s Superintendent and Board of Education immediately cancel the event, and rescind any association or prior involvement in it.
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    In addition to citing the Women’s March Network or Women’s March Youth Empower as an organizer of the student walkouts, Stevenson added that “the event is promoted by the Action Network, which touts itself as ‘an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes.’”
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    “Thus, it is promoting the event for partisan political purposes, to influence voters to one side of an issue currently before members of the public,” she wrote. “This event is not simply a ‘student initiated remembrance.’ It is an event aimed at engaging students in a political ‘movement’ to affect ‘change’ and to encourage them to vote for that ‘change.’”
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    On Wednesday, Michael P. McKeon, attorney for the school district, wrote to Stevenson, in a reply that was made available to Breitbart News, that the school board “has absolutely no connection with” the Women’s March Network and the Action Network.
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    “To the extent that either group has referenced the New Milford Public Schools on their websites or in any other manner, that is neither at the behest of nor with the consent of the Board,” McKeon argued, adding:
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    Furthermore, the mere fact that some outside organization unilaterally or in cooperation with some third party over whom the Board has no control lists, cites, or otherwise references the Board does not transform the Board into its agent or representative, nor does it impute to the Board any perspectives, philosophies, or political agendas such organization might have.
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    McKeon further asserted that, as Smith and Shugrue indicated in a letter to parents, “Students at NMHS have indicated that they too want to make a statement and be a part of the movement.”
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    In the letter, made available as well to Breitbart News, Smith and Shugrue wrote that the district’s middle school students “also expressed an interest in participating in the broader conversation,” and would have a “grade appropriate, optional opportunity that focuses on civic participation.”
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    “Clearly, this morning’s activity is student initiated and student driven,” McKeon said, dismissing all of the parents’ issues.
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    Stevenson, however, told Breitbart News that Connecticut, and likely many other states, has statutes pertaining to the use of taxpayer dollars to fund political protests. She said it “defies logic” how McKeon “can make an argument that the walkout is not connected to a partisan or political issue.”
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    Breitbart News asked whether school districts could be faced with further litigation if they do not allow students who wish to hold walkouts for other causes to do so.
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     “That’s absolutely a valid concern,” she said. “There are equal protection laws as well, and if you are allowing one group to have free speech on your campus for a partisan purpose, then, obviously, it’s discriminatory not to allow an opposing point of view. So, it absolutely does open up the school districts to litigation and all sorts of other problems.”
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    Stevenson said there are many ways allowing students to participate in a politically charged protest during school time harms students and the climate of the school itself.
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    “It’s one thing to teach civics and to teach history and to teach current events,” Stevenson explained. “But it’s another thing to encourage minors, whose maturity level is not that of an adult, to take a position one way or another.” Stevenson continued:
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    The idea of instruction in the schools I would think would be to assist students in critical thinking on both sides of an issue. If they’re going to be doing that, then that, I believe, would be in line with education. If they are simply instructing on one position, and one point of view, then I don’t think that even the school districts or the boards of education running them would believe that that is appropriate.
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    Stevenson said the parents who have hired her also have “a basic objection to their children being exploited or used because of an emotional issue.” She explained:
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    Obviously, no one wants to have their children harmed. And it is a tragic event any time a child is harmed or killed. But, it’s more along the lines of media attention and using children. We have laws against exploiting children for any purpose. It’s right in our Connecticut law and I’m sure other states have similar laws. That is what the issue is for many parents.
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    Stevenson noted that Smith and Shugrue stated in their letter that “For students who do not wish to participate in this movement, an alternate location will be provided.”
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    “You have the official position of a public school saying, ‘We will allow these students to take this protest – we will encourage it, supervise it, facilitate it, and use taxpayer funds to do this – and those children who do not want to participate, ‘Well, we’ll have an alternative location for them to be,’” Stevenson asserted.
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    “Now, if you’re in that public school, and you’re a child in that public school, what is the pressure on you to participate with those others who are going outside, or to be ostracized in an alternative location, and, then, perhaps bullied later: ‘Why didn’t you participate with our march? We were all out there,’” she explained. “So, I think that creates a climate where children are endangered of being ostracized, alienated, and bullied unnecessarily. And this is something that is supported by the public school board and district staff.”
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    Stevenson said the issues the parents have is “a matter of the rule of law.” She asked:
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    Are you going to collectively decide what the law is and follow it, or are you going to take a very emotional issue and take advantage of anyone – children or anyone – to advocate for your position on an issue? To take that kind of an emotional issue, and advocate, and not follow the law while you’re doing it, and use taxpayer dollars to fund your decision to do that is just wrong.
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    Principal Shugrue did not immediately respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment on the parents’ concerns.

  2. Not even worth commenting on….this will fade away soon too like pet rocks, not standing for the national anthem, etc.

  3. Wishful thinking, 8:15am? The National Anthem football player kneelers shamelessly and dishonorably coopted their owner’s team-related investments and the television networks’ broadcast coverage of their games as a force multiplier for their vapid and amorphous progressive political message. The adults behind the “nationwide school walkout” effort are doing something similar, but using the taxpayers’ heavy investment in K-12 education. Both efforts invade an environment that previously was more or less politics-free and thoroughly corrupt and politicize that environment. Political progressives have done this over and over again in their >100 year modernist “Sherman’s March to the Sea” through our previously reliable traditions and institutions.

  4. Breitbart…hahaha…

    1. better than the main stream media by far

  5. Video has emerged of the principal at New Praque, Minnesota’s New Prague High School removing a student from a group of walkout participants because the student was holding a pro-gun sign.

    The student’s sign said, “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People.”

    https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/15/watch-principal-removes-student-walk-participants-pro-gun-sign/

    Here’s the original Facebook post. The principal went right at him, as if he had thrown a punch at somebody:

    https://m.facebook.com/kenny.macdonald.9619/posts/1824240220983443

  6. Hey James – are you paying property taxes yet in Ridgewood? Please, please, please get a real job so you can afford a house here.

  7. Why 5:42 do you have to pay property taxes and own a house to have a say. Next you will want to censor people who’s property taxes are under $ 30,000. Typical Ridgewood elites or maybe your live in moms basement and want to talk big.

  8. Deeply Loving Disruptive Walkouts
    Townhall.com | March 16, 2018 | Brent Bozell
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    The leftist-organized wave of school walkouts on March 14 to protest gun violence is a classic example of the way protests are categorized by our news and entertainment media.
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    1. Liberal protests are authentic cries from the grass roots; conservative protests are “Astroturf.” How homegrown were these liberal walkouts? They were organized weeks ago by the Women’s March on Washington leftists. Liberal parents forced school administrators to knuckle under and allow the walkouts without punishment. They were supported by passionate media coverage and media conglomerates like Viacom, which dedicated 17 minutes of airtime to show solidarity.
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    So, was this organized political activism? Helaine Olen at The Washington Post noted a bunch of this activity and then claimed that the idea that students were being “manipulated by greater adult left-wing forces” is “conspiracy theorizing” and “absurd.”
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    1a. This week’s corollary: Liberal protests by children, organized and promoted by adults, are to be celebrated as child-generated. But conservative children going to a protest are uneducated robots influenced by their ministers or parents.
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    Who are these kids anyway? The Washington Post celebrated the walkouts with the front-page headline “We’re the Next Generation.” Liberals represent everybody. We are the world and all that.
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    But when tens of thousands of teenagers attend the March for Life across the country, the national media ignore them — unless it’s to expose the nefarious nature of those Christian zealots. In 2017, the media site Vocativ found Catholic young adults who felt they had been used. “I was in 5th grade when I started going to the march,” Miranda O’Shea complained. “At that time we barely even knew what an abortion was, let alone the real meanings behind it.” Another woman said: “I really feel for the kids under 18 that get bussed in. I don’t really think they should go to the event until they’ve reached a point where they can decide if they want to go.”
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    2. Liberal protests are newsworthy because they’re disruptive; conservative protests are too orderly to be worth discussing. The news angle with the gun protests was the disobedience involved in walking out, something to be celebrated. Leftist protests demand police activity because leftists break stuff, and they demand to be arrested because it somehow makes them heroic. One hundred thousand conservatives could show up on the National Mall in our nation’s capital and not leave behind so much as a candy wrapper on the ground. Bo-ring.
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    3. Finally, liberal protests are somehow not political. When co-host Meghan McCain stated the facts on these marches on “The View” — a show that advocates passing gun control legislation and sticking it to the National Rifle Association — Whoopi Goldberg was outraged. She said: “Let’s stick to what this particular march is today. … It’s not political.” What will Whoopi claim next? That “The View” isn’t political either?
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    The Women’s March organizers of this walkout wanted to protest not just gun violence but also racism, police brutality and how “the United States has exported gun violence through imperialist foreign policy to destabilize other nations.” That’s superpolitical.
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    This whole process — liberal reporting followed by liberal protests — is one organized political campaign. The media start the outrage machine, demanding a liberal course of action, and the protests are organized to keep the story fresh by taking the demand for action to the streets.
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    Any political analysis of this modus operandi leads liberals to make bizarre arguments, as if the protesters represent the entire public and their agenda is so universally supported it’s no longer political. This gaseous bubble must be popped by conservatives for what it is: “fake news,” not facts.

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