Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Right Not to Protest


You may have heard that last week there was a little national walkout (#NationalWalkoutDay)...

All week I covered a chemistry class (well, Tuesday through Friday). 10 AM occurred just after the start of third period.

We had just finished correcting their homework. I looked at the clock. It was nearly 10 AM. Not enough time to start their quiz before, so I hit pause on the lesson. Whoosh. The students all got up and left...

Well, not everyone.

"I'm going to stay and do my homework."

One boy told this to his friend. The friend was urging him to go. It wasn't like he was going to miss anything as practically the whole class had gone.

They argued. But the boy didn't really want to go.

I opened my mouth to urge the boy to go. This was one of those moments where someone can stand up for what's right. As the school was supportive of the walkout, it wasn't like there was going to be any blowback for him going.

But I realized that just as the rest of the class wanted to go, he didn't. And pushing him to go when he didn't want to was as bad as keeping kiddos in class when they felt it was important to walk out.

So, I said if he wanted to stay, he could stay.

In the end, three students remained in class (out of a class of twenty). I don't know why they stayed in. It wasn't my business, really.

From the sounds of it, the majority of the school walked out. They returned shortly. And once they were all back, I gave the class their quiz. After, we went on with the rest of the lesson. (They quiz took them five minutes.)

I kind of wanted to see the walkout, so I was sad to have to remain in class. But then again, I've been working through a cold, so it was nice to sit and rest for a bit.

How did the walkouts go where you are?

27 comments:

  1. I'm proud of those who walked out, because I believe something needs to change regarding guns in this country, but I also respect the choice of those who didn't.

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  2. My friend's kids participated in the walkout with no issue. School was supportive.

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    1. There were plenty of schools that were.

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  3. Hi Liz - no idea ... but interesting to read your post - and to see you had no issues to deal with - cheers Hilary

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  4. Hope you feel better soon! I heard about the walkouts but don't have kiddos/friends with kiddos old enough to walk out.

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    1. I heard elementary school kids were walking out too, depending.

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  5. The point of the protest was to make a statement. Not everyone wants to make a statement. You did the right thing.

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    1. Yeah, not everyone wanted to participate. Not my place to make them.

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  6. Yes, and some may have parents who are expressly on the other side of things. |

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  7. You were right in their right not to go. They may not support the walkout or were told by their parents they better not participate. I find it so incomprehensible how many people love their guns. They all talk about their 2nd amendment rights so, why not give them muskets? Did you know that Japan have very tight restrictions on gun control...the result? there was only 1 person arrested because of that weapon in the entire year!...1 person! On another note, I hope you are feeling better

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    1. Thanks.

      And yeah, I know. We don't need these guns. Even a licensing process would be better. But the terrorist organization, the NRA, has decided that any regulation is wrong, and they fight them tooth and nail. Hopefully, in the end, that will spell the downfall of the whole debate.

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  8. I like to keep a universal perspective but being Irish we don't have guns and anyone found with one without firearm documentaion etc is gonna have lots of problems believe me.... sound familiar? lol

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  9. The school around here was...tolerant, I guess. They tried to hold a rally in the gym for people to go to, but the kids said that it was all "thoughts and prayers" and they wanted action, so they held their own. I love these kids.

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  10. I'm glad to see these kids standing up for what's right. Back in my day, we had dumb things like "senior ditch day" which I did not participate in even though I was prone to ditching school. My youth was not sunshine and roses. I just never liked to go "with the crowd." So I went to class on Senior Ditch Day. The upside is, I didn't get in trouble for participating, so there's that!

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    1. They still have senior ditch day. To varying results.

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  11. Good on them for deciding to stay in class even if it wasn't the "popular" option.

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  12. Walkouts seem to have gone well here except for one school in the iffy area of town....fighting and starting crap. I think it was great that the kids were allowed to walkout but with that you would think that they would have respected that chance to go.

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    1. There are some kids who will just take advantage no matter what the reason.

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  13. My kid is only in second grade, so there was no walking out. But it's good to see there's support for decisions, both to stay and to walk out, and no backlash for not succumbing to peer pressure.

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    1. Yeah, it's good when the kiddos are free to go with their conscience.

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  14. I heard some of the schools near me were going to participate, but I don't know if they actually did or not.
    It was good you let the kids stay because it's just as much their right not to participate as to participate.

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    1. I was going to let him stay if he insisted. I'm glad I didn't push the issue.

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  15. I'm glad to hear this is all happening and schools and teachers are behind it. Let's hope something changes!

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    1. Some of the teachers are behind it. I've heard stories where the schools and teachers were less supportive, just not in my immediate area.

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  16. Glad to hear that the majority of students walked out. Good for you in not pressuring the left behind students to walk out when they didn't want to, though.

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    1. What I believe is not necessarily what they believe.

      (Looks like you're going to have nice weather for your trip this/next week. We're looking at temps in the upper 70s & 80s.)

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