School Walk Out Fact vs. Fiction

The school walk out has of course grabbed headlines, and with those headlines opinions about it. There are however some opinions that are based upon information or impressions that are not factual. I want to take  few brief moments to address the ones that I have heard so that our collective opinions, even where they differ, are based in fact.
Statement: The student walk out is not political.
Fact: The student walk out was organized by the Woman’s March group, which is a political group. The details laid out on the official Face Book page for the event are as followers: “Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkoutfor 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. We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.
Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.
Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.
We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence. We want Congress to pay attention and take note: many of us will vote this November and many others will join in 2020.”
This is a political statement calling for political action. (also the event page https://www.actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/enough-national-school-walkout)
Statement: This is only students, not teachers or administrators.
Fact: Students and teachers participated. Consider this reporting from Time: “Thousands of students and teachers began walking out of their classrooms on Wednesday, March 14 as part of the the #Enough! National School Walkout to raise awareness about issues of school safety and the impact of gun violence. ” (http://time.com/5195960/national-school-walkout-march-14/). This seems to confirm that teachers did participate, though likely not in every school.
Statement: This was across the entire country and supported by schools. 
Fact: This is true, but misleading. Not all schools or school districts were on board with this. The most well known example is likely Needville Independent School District which cautioned it’s students about participation. “Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved. All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline,” Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said in a statement posted on the Needville High School Facebook page.

Rhodes said the Houston-area district would not tolerate any protests or demonstrations during school hours.
“A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally. A disruption of the school will not be tolerated,” he said.” (https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/us/student-walkout-punishment-trnd/index.html)
Statement: This was older students who know what they are talking about.
Fact: Elementary schools were ‘protesting’ as well, at least one such school having a die-in at George Mason Elementary on Virginia. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2018/03/14/students-are-walking-out-of-school-after-the-parkland-shooting-heres-what-that-looks-like/?utm_term=.f5150b361826)
Statement: This was a one time event to allow students to voice their concerns.
Fact: Another walk out is planned for April 20th. It’s purpose: “The National Student Walkout is a nationwide protest of our leaders’ failure to pass laws that protect us from gun violence. Mass shootings happen far too frequently in America, and we as a nation have become numb to seeing the news. After each one, the same cycle takes place: the media spend less than a week on the story, politicians offer their “thoughts and prayers,” and nothing ever changes. But after the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, young Americans are taking matters into their own hands.
On April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, American students will walk out of class and protest.Together, we will send a message that we won’t tolerate any more inaction on this issue. And if cowardly politicians fail to act, young people will show them the consequences of letting so many Americans die by voting them out in November.” (http://act.indivisible.org/event/national-school-walkout/) A national March is planed also.
I am sure that there are more misconceptions about what is going on. Feel free to share them in the comments, but try to stick to factual information.

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