Editoral: New Prague Area School District, MN escorts Student off campus during National School Walk Out
Kenny MacDonald, a student at New Prague Area School District, posted on Facebook late last night,
“Kids at our school today walked out, in honor of the 17 students killed in Florida. Students held signs signs that said, “Arm our teachers” they had two signs. A student walked out without saying a word peacefully put up his sign which said “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” he was escorted off the property by our principal and threatened to be put into a police car. This violates the first amendment and makes me sick that they can do whatever they want. Please make this go viral. Location: New Prague High school, Minnesota.”
New Prague School District released the statement below today. The District stated,
“The District has a policy that such items must be submitted to and reviewed by school administration at least 24-hours in advance. In compliance with the District’s policy”…to protect the exercise of students’ and employees’ free speech rights. [while] taking into considersation the educational objectives and responsibilities of the School District,” the sign was moved to non-school grounds. The District has an obligation to enforce this policy without regard to political viewpoint.”
That’s censorship by any stretch of the imagination!
This is exactly the problem going on today with public education. Where in the 1st Amendment does it state that free speech doesn’t exist on public property? Public schools are not private property thus they do not have the right to dictate what can or can not be held up or stated outside the laws of the Federal or State governments. Public schools can NOT create their own laws as New Prague School District is doing here. They have to abide by the Federal and State Laws. State laws can not dictate something that the Federal Laws do not allow. The student’s at New Prague School District had their 1st Amendment rights violated by the school district. The District should have to defend to the parents and taxpayers what Federal and State Law they are following here.
Policy 505 states, “I. Purpose The purpose of this policy is to protect the exercise of the students’ and employees’ free speech rights, taking into consideration the educational objectives and responsibilities of the school district.”
Educational objectives will never align with someones personal opinion. And as far as the responsibilities of the school district go, the school district’s responsibilities should be to teach students to exercise their right to free speech in a civil and non violent way.
These students were silently exercising their rights to free speech in a quiet non violent manner. The District in this case is wrong for involving themselves in a manner of bullying students off of public property. Secondly, their own statement from their press release “the sign was moved to non-school grounds” provides proof that they engaged with bullying a minor student. This was NOT a lesson in how to properly exercise your rights to Free Speech but yet another moment of how to show students’ how to bully someone.