NH ACLU: A School “Walkout” is NOT Protected Speech

StudentWalkoutI wonder where this handy bit of information was when the Marxist Women’s March folks were pouring outside money into their national campaign to waste taxpayer dollars. It says that School Walk Outs are NOT protected by the first amendment.

  • However, a school walkout is not considered the same type of speech as wearing a political slogan. A school may take corrective action if you miss school without an excused absence, even if you were participating in a political protest.

The Marxist Women’s March convinced a bunch of local hooligans (that would be school administrators) to let the kids “have their say,” by which I mean the Marxist’s say. Most kids have no clue why we even have the Second Amendment.

They might as well have walked out (wearing their Che Shirts) over clubbings or stabbings which each kill more Americans than guns, but then stopping the killing is not the point either. They don’t know why and they don’t care. Just as long as they end up on YouTube which is also in on the gag.

Meanwhile, back at the NH ACLU, we’ve got the rest of this handy internet truth bomb to address. And it’s important because while the ACLU is a lot of things left-leaning, they’re nearly always good on Free Speech.

The First Amendment Does Not Consider a “Walkout” Protected Speech

  • The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of speech, expression, and assembly. However, these rights are not absolute in that a person is not given the right to assemble anywhere or say anything. Though limitations on free speech are very narrow, they do exist.
  • Speech rights of students may be further restricted. School officials are required to create a safe learning environment. Disruptive acts of civil disobedience may reasonably be interpreted as interfering with the education of other students, and therefore certain acts may not be allowed.
  • This does not mean that all speech and assembly rights are discontinued on school grounds. On the contrary, several Supreme Court cases uphold speech rights for students, such as wearing political symbols (Tinker v. Des Moines) and the right to abstain from reciting the pledge of allegiance (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette).
  • However, a school walkout is not considered the same type of speech as wearing a political slogan. A school may take corrective action if you miss school without an excused absence, even if you were participating in a political protest.

Your School May Punish You if You Participate in a Walkout

  • Students are required to be at school except for an excused absence. Leaving school grounds without permission may lead to discipline by school officials.
  • However, schools may not discipline students more harshly because they are participating in a political protest. For example, if the normal repercussion for missing school without an excused absence is detention and a student receives a suspension for missing school for participating in a walkout, this may be a First Amendment violation.

Should you participate in these walkouts?

  • It is not up to the ACLU to determine whether or not you should participate in a political act of civil disobedience. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that he would accept “the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community.” It is up to every individual person to evaluate the potential benefits and consequences

    to

    an act of civil disobedience, such as a walkout.

  • This information should not be interpreted as a promise of ACLU legal representation or that our organization will intercede on your behalf. If you feel that your constitutional rights have been violated in some way, you are welcome to file a complaint on our website.

Walkouts will be a thing now, driven by left-wing union ideologues within the school system. Parents, who have free speech rights as well as fiscal control over their public servants should they chose to exercise them, might want to use this information to rein in activist teachers and administrators who decide that a proper use of your education tax dollars is to let your kids “walk out” in support of their political priorities.

H/T Jim Johnson

Steve on GAL

Steve is a New Hampshire resident, blogger, and activist. A member of the 603 Alliance, NHCMP, NHRVC, LFGC, and the host of GrokTALK! Please Note: My opinions are my own and not those of my Family, employers, politicians, campaigns, or other contributors or commenters at GraniteGrok