Students

School Chief Threatens to Punish Student Protesters Who Skip Classes by…Banning Them from Attending Classes

He'd also like everyone to trim their hair so it doesn't touch their ears.

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Dunce cap
Karen Foley / Dreamstime.com

Superintendent Curtis Rhodes issued a threat Tuesday that any student in his Texas school district who attempted to demonstrate or engage in any sort of protest during school hours would be punished:

Please be advised that the Needville ISD will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness!! [sic] Should students choose to do so, they will be suspended from school for 3 days and face all the consequences that come along with an out of school suspension. 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 and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.

There's a particular absurdity that only comes from a government bureaucracy that the punishment for not attending classes you have been ordered to attend is to be forbidden from attending the classes you've been ordered to attend.

Like many school officials, Rhodes wants blind obedience. He ironically declares in his message that schools are a place to "grow educationally, emotionally, and morally." Now shut up, sit down, and do what we tell you to do! He ends his letter with "we are here for an education and not a political protest" as though these were contradictory aims.

The Washington Post picked up the story and notes the Tinker Supreme Court decision that acknowledges that students have First Amendment rights to express their political opinion. Rhodes can prohibit and punish students for disruptive demonstrations that interfere with teaching of classes, but a blanket order that there cannot be any sort of demonstration during school hours at all seems like an obvious attempt to prohibit the expression of political opinions.

Rhodes has previously been in trouble before for attempting to enforce a dress code that banned a Native American student from having long hair. He was overruled by the courts as having intruded on the child's freedom of religious expression. During the case, Rhodes made it abundantly clear that he saw the role of the school system is to instill obedience into children. Via the Houston Press in 2008:

"I've never had a hair past my ears. I'm pretty much a rule follower. I'm not out to, just because there's a rule I got to try to break it. I wasn't raised that way, I wasn't genetically put together that way. If they say do this, I'm going to do it."

If high school students don't perhaps have the most thoroughly thought-out responses to mass shootings and other controversial issues, some school administrators seem to be suffering from the same problem.

NEXT: Philly D.A. Larry Krasner Ends Cash Bail for Many Offenses, Some Felonies

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  1. Pictured: Britches writing his Links manifesto.

    1. That’s at least a line and a half longer than any of his actual Links posts.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

      2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

    2. Why is Britches wearing a Klan hat?

      1. To make everybody except Kivlor feel uncomfortable.

        1. It certainly does make me feel at home, but less due to it resembling something from the Klan and more to it reminding me of the Papal hat, and admittedly I was raised by Papists

      2. Are you sure it’s not a Pope hat?

        1. The kid is a child of Dan Aykroyd and Leraine Newman and he wears the hat to cover up his shame.

        2. It’s not a hat, it’s a funnel for his brain.

  2. “If they say do this, I’m going to do it.”

    People wonder how perfectly normal Germans ended up being Nazi SS guards in concentration camps…

    1. You know who else thought about Hitler all the time?

      1. Eva Braun?

        1. He was the last thing on her mind.

          1. *slow clap*

      2. The History Channel?

      3. Quentin Tarantino?

    2. I stopped wondering that some time ago.

  3. During the case, Rhodes made it abundantly clear that he saw the role of the school system is to instill obedience into children.

    So he’s one of the few administrators left who’s aware of what public schooling was originally, consciously designed for.

    1. He’s one of the few willing to admit it in an open interview.

  4. Without my having to actually read the article, is this threat about black armbands (as in Tinker) or about mass walkouts (which, to my knowledge, haven’t been held to be protected by the First Amendment)?

    If this note was prompted by concerns about mass walkouts “to protest gun violence” or whatever the euphemism is, then it sounds like a legitimate beef.

    What alternatives are there to suspension? In-school detention? Paddling?

    Now, as to that religious freedom case – that sounds less justified on the part of the administration. Religious practices, if genuine, can only be suppressed if it’s the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest. At least that’s the way it is in Texas.

    1. “Compelling government interest” is always a scary sounding phrase to me.

      1. OK, but it’s better than the alternative, which is “any old claim of government power is OK so long as you’re stepping on some religious minority purely by accident.”

        1. Yes, I’m saying that “Compelling government interest” is an idea that needs to be weakened even further. There might be worse, but we can do better than the worst possible thing.

  5. Shackelford: “Do not speak to me of rules! This is war on guns! This is not a game of cricket!”

  6. SI requiring students to attend class is an expectation of “blind obedience” ?

    Well, now we know why when Shackford’s turn at PM Links are late.

    1. Don’t you dare fucking insult Scott or Ed’s links. We are blessed to have them you god damned plebian.

      1. I am not insulting his links.

        I sm insulting his timeliness.

        1. And I’m telling you that insulting Scott or Ed violates NAP.

          1. Oh good! I’ve always wanted to do that!

    2. SI requiring students to attend class is an expectation of “blind obedience” ?

      Yes. He is their employee, not their boss.

      1. If you are going to look at it that way, then he is their parent’s employee, put in charge of the kids.

        1. Even if we go by the traditional viewpoint that children are chattel property of their parents (because nothing says libertarian like owning another person), it should be noted that most of the senior class is at this point 18.

          1. Then they can quit school if they don not like the requirements if being a student. It is not a cafeteria menu..

            Are these 18 year olds earning their own livings, or are they still being taken care of by their parents?

            Rights come with responsibilities. If one cannot or will not deal with their responsibilities then their rights are limited.

            1. Except we the super stated that even parent permission would not count. And the fact that students and parents don’t have a choice of how schooling is inflicted upon them is kind of a fundamental issue that libertarians discuss all the damn time.

              1. I went to private schools when I was a child. My attitude about what schools can demand of student’s time and attention was shaped by the knowledge my schooling was something my parents were directly paying for.

                1. BUCS, if you didn’t decide to get born to parents who could afford to send you to private school, that’s on you.

                2. Parents that send their kids to private school are charged twice for the same service, even though they only used one of them. Go figure.

              2. These schools are funded by and operated by the taxpayers. The taxpayers have a right to set expectations for behavior for the use of the schools. The Superintendent is the representative of the taxpayers setting the expectations for use of the schools.

                The purpose of the school is to teach certain bit of information and skill sets with the hope that the students will become self supporting and not require lifelong support from other taxpayers. Political posturing and demonstrations at school interfere with the primary mission of the schools.

                So, if you don’t like the rules, go to a private school or homeschool. Texas allows and encourages both. So long as you want your “education” paid for by someone else, suck it up and shut up.

            2. By that logic, we can force people over 67 to attend the local Senior Citizen Center everyday, because they collect Social Security retirement benefits.

              1. Yes.

                If the taxpayer is paying for your time, the taxpayer gets to decide what you do with your time.

                Reality sucks doesn’t it?

                1. I wish. After a morning of looking at ungrateful handout maggots, this taxpayer thinks they should be required to stand on a day labor site holding up a list of jobs they have medical permission to do. Only those unable to stand up should collect payments…and if they meet a taxpayer (on a weekend!) and act ungrateful in any way, let’em beg for crumbs for a year.

        2. Doesn’t work since the parents have no say – he’s already stated that parents won’t be allowed to give permission *for their own kids*.

          1. The parents have the option to move their kids to private school, or to homeschool.

  7. Scott, do you know the difference of in school suspension and skipping class? The school has a duty to report and react to truancy. Shocking I know.

    1. Guess it is out of school, but it is still truancy.

      1. You probably would not like to hear my opinions on “truancy.”

        1. Interestingly, the middle English word “truant” meant someone that begs through choice, rather than necessity. This then became straying away from duty, and then being absent without permission.

        2. Of course we would!

          Always looking for more entertainment!

    2. ISS makes more sense for a “punishment” of not going to class.

  8. and face all the consequences that come along with an out of school suspension.

    Which are?

    1. More rest, more video game time, better food.

      1. please!! not the briar patch!!!

    2. In my school, 7 unexcused absences in a semester was auto failure for the semester and expulsion unless over ruled by the School Board. Suspensions counted as unexcused absences.

      So if you got 3 for fighting (the usual) and got another couple for protesting, you better not play hooky or you could be in deep shit and your parents would have a big hassle with the school board getting you back into the classroom.

      1. When and where was this? Was this an american public school?

        There’s a lot I take issue with there, and the fact that it really reinforces that schools think of themselves as providing some holy sacrament. But really, that’s just really out of sync with the schools I went to as a kid.

      2. The trick is to show up, get marked as present, and then sneak out, which is what we usually did. We had actual prison bars on the windows of the school. Some students (never me, of course) have been known to remove these to sneak away. I never understood why the bolts were on the inside of the room.

  9. “If high school students don’t perhaps have the most thoroughly thought-out responses to mass shootings and other controversial issues, some school administrators seem to be suffering from the same problem”

    I think you underestimate the depth of his conviction. I take it for granted that everything he is saying is something that he has given a hell of a lot of though to. Something that he is thrilled about having the opportunity to emphatically express. And something that he would love to have chiseled on his headstone.

    His arguments seem to be a perfect summary of the entirety of his worldview.

  10. They say they’re afraid to return to class. But I wonder if they are afraid of getting shot by kids they bullied. Because evidently they all knew about little Nikky and it wasn’t a surprise.

    These communities need to face their demons and not just let the police ‘handle it’. Because it will become a witch hunt.

    1. Blame the victims. Nice.

  11. Jesus Christ Shackford. Sing the guy a Billy Joel song and get over it.

  12. I will say this about this article. I really wonder how pervasive this is. I was thinking this the other day when reading a FB post that was mocking a certain perceived group of people, by showing facebook posts of people saying very stupid thing.

    The thing is, if I wanted to find 4 FB posts saying ANYTHING at all I probably could. And so I can’t help but wonder if articles like that are just that. Highlighting some minor pissants ramblings.

    1. I think the key is to look at the whole picture. Florida shit stain didn’t just post a woodchipper rant on Facebook. There were multiple incidents, what LEO’s would call a “pattern”, and the pattern was ignored.

      1. My intention wasn’t to identify risky behaviors based on patterns of individuals.

        What I meant was this tend to find one person who said something and then apply it to a group you can identify them with. To spoil the FB post, they had found four posts of people saying the anti-gun student protesters should be killed. The thread then turns into a fuckfest of people talking about how shitty gun-rights people are.

        But does this really tell us anything? You can find 4 people about of 100 million users who say ANYTHING. You can always find some example of something in human behavior.

  13. If the students walk out or skip school without parental permission then the school is obligated to treat that as truancy and administer appropriate discipline in accordance with the school’s code of conduct.

    1. Though he does explicitly say that parental permission will not count, “parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.”

      1. That’s where I’m sure he’s wrong but students don’t have a right just to decide to leave the school and attend a protest. In fact, if they did this and students were injured at such a protest the school is opening itself up to legal action for failure to maintain adequate supervision.

        1. Bingo.

        2. Given it is February, most of the senior class is 18.

          1. It wouldn’t matter. If the school allowed students to cut class and then something happened to one of them, they would get their asses sued off for not enforcing the rules.

            Are we really to the point on this board where expecting high school students to show up to class and do what is asked of them is some great offense on humanity? Yes, there are reasonable objections to the concept of publicly funded schools and very reasonable objections to compulsory school attendance. But, once you are at school, is it really the case that Libertarians believe the school has no right to expect you to go to class and follow the rules? Really?

            1. Do they suspend kids who are home sick, or out attending sports competitions, or college visits, or any of the numerous reasons that cause students to miss particular days?

              Once students are allowed to be absent, who should be the party making the call as to what constitutes a valid reason for absence? The public officials or the citizenry?

              1. No they don’t. But what is and is not an excused absence is up to the school. The school has every right to say that if you are sick you don’t have to be here or if your parents want you to go and do something you can miss a day but then also say that other things are not acceptable reasons not to be in class. The school does not owe them the time to attend a protest.

                You are just begging the fucking question and rephrasing the same point of “who says the school and not the students make the rules?”

              2. Depends on the school district but there’s usually a certain number of excused absences permitted with parental notification.

                1. Then if the students are absent (with permission where appropriate) to attend a protest and under the specified number of days, what basis does the school have for punishing the student?

                  What this is really about is a bunch of phony “libertarians” who are pissed someone disagrees with them and feels this justifies using state power to punish those dissenting viewpoints.

              3. For excused absenses the school would have to be viewpoint neutral with respect to the reason for the absence.

                1. That’s fine. So he can suspend them for skipping school to attend a pro gun protest, too. I’m fine with that.

            2. Are we really to the point on this board where expecting high school students to show up to class and do what is asked of them is some great offense on humanity?

              In this case, yes I believe the school is acting out of turn. It misses the point of a school which is effectively to prove some competency at a skill. If they miss and fail it’s one thing, but having to show up is stupid and is done largely to justify themselves.

            3. John, your whole point here has been that no one is *asking* anything of these students. They are *demanding*. They are *mandating*.

              And like Everytime the state mandates anything – it is inder penalty of death.

              1. And no, the school has no right. No state agency has a right. No state has a right.

                They have privileges.

          2. Given it is February, most of the senior class is 18.

            No, they’ll turn 18 this year.

            I was 17 when I graduated because of a late birthday.

        3. “don’t have a right just to decide to leave the school and attend a protest.”

          Since when?

          1. Since yesterday, today and tomorrow going forward…

            1. So a school administrator is the law now? And you’re cool with that?

              If so, why are you hanging out at a libertarians site?

              1. Because they don’t fundamentally disagree with the idea that schools are for indoctrination, the only disagreement is on what that indoctrination entails.

                1. Schools are paid for and operated by taxpayers. Students who are enrolled there, can instead attend private schools, or be home schooled. So long as the taxpayers are providing and operating the school, the taxpayers get to set the rules.

                  He who pays the piper, calls the dance.

              2. Totally
                Hang out wherever the hell I like.
                You cool with that?

                1. I just wonder what the point is. You’re not a libertarian, not interested on libertarianism, and by your own admission all for increasing the power of the state.

                  1. Wonder to your hearts content.
                    Personally I wonder who appointed you arbiter of all things libertarian.
                    Not that it matters or I give a damn.

                    1. Kathy Newman? Is that you?

                    2. Temper tantrum over?

                    3. Your posts were the equivalent of going “Fine, whatever” and you’re accusing others of being moody?

                    4. The accusations all came from one source and were aimed in one direction.

          2. Because as of this week, if you get mad and leave school, they will come lock you up as a threat!

  14. Aren’t we always told that the first amendment guarantees you a right to speech but not a right to be heard? Within rights to prohibit protest ‘speech’ during school hours?

    1. K-12 students at US public schools possess only limited First Amendment rights subject to maintaining the educational mission of the school.

    2. They seem “reasonable restrictions” on the first amendment. At least he is not requiring a $500.00 protest training class, a $200.00 processing fee for a permit to protest, and approval from the county sheriff to get the permit.

  15. What’s the normal punishment for truancy?

  16. At our sons’ school here in Texas there’s a variety of disciplinary options including, detention, ISS, swats.

    1. swats

      They’ll send a team of armored cops to a kid’s house in the middle of the night to shoot his dog? Jesus.

      1. Any infraction of the law has the potential to escalate into a SWAT raid. In fact, Alcibiades would personally call the SWAT team in on any child who chewed gum in class or violated the dress code.

        1. Yep, sure worked when I was at school.

  17. You are supposed to go to school to go to class not protest. If students started walking out of class and playing basketball would Soave think the school wrong for punishing them? These students have no more right to protest during the school day than they do to play basketball or shoot craps.

    Students have a right to express their opinion. They do not have a right to cut classes to do so. Just how exactly does a student attend a protest during the school day without either cutting class or disrupting a class they are attending? Schools have a right to expect their students to show up and go to class. The fact that Soave doesn’t understand that is puzzling to say the least.

    1. They do not have a right to cut classes to do so.

      With parental permission, why not? Who’s the victim?

      1. The victim is the school system paid by the student-day in federal “funds”, sometimes known a tax dollars.

      2. No. The school has a right to determine what is an excusable absence. If they do that in some kind of arbitrary and discriminatory way, like say that it is okay for black students to go but not white or that it is okay to attend one protest but not another, that is different. But if they apply the rule evenhandedly, the school has every right to say students can’t miss class to attend a protest. They don’t owe them time off to go to a protest any more than your boss owes you time off to attend one.

        1. Except that school is not a job. It’s a place to train and test for competency. Particularly if the parents give them the time off. We are not beholden to schools. They are not, or at least should not, be prisons where we keep people with the intent of funding union members pensions.

          1. Yes it is a job. You attend there and they tell you what you need to do to get your degree. They have a right to make the rules just like an employer does. You don’t have a right to a degree or to graduate without following their rules. They either have a right to make the rules or they don’t. If they don’t have the right to tell kids they are not excused to leave class to go to a protest, how do they have the right to tell them they can’t leave for any reason? And if they can’t do that, how can they enforce any rule? You just don’t like this rule and want it to change. Too bad.

            1. Of course people work jobs voluntarily and follow rules promulgated by private actors in exchange for remuneration. Children attend public schools under threat of state violence in exchange for indoctrination and stultifying boredom. Maybe you can find a better analogy.

              1. “Children attend public schools under threat of state violence in exchange for indoctrination and stultifying boredom.”

                No, children attend public schools because their parents have chosen to send them there. They could send them to a wide variety of private schools, or they could home school them.

    2. Why is it so many of you guys keep coming around here commenting approvingly Everytime the government uses coercive power in a manner you agree with?

      The only thing you have in common with libertarianism is that you think *you* should be left alone while everyone else should do what they’re told.

      Leaving a class is not disruptive. By definition it’s taking and potential disruption *elsewhere*.

      And students are still human beings – so yes, they have every right to walk out of class anytime they want. Same as you do.

      1. Not my kids buddy.

        1. That is between you and your children. I’m not paying the state to enforce your family diktats.

          1. Then dont…

            1. You and your buddies kill people who don’t.

              1. I strive to give a damn over your hysterics.
                But fail…

        2. Hey, sounds like this is a thing between you and your kids! Seems like no one here is debating that parents have some control over their kids!

      2. Because running a school is not the government applying coercive power. It is their school. They have a right to run it as they like. That is not the same thing as the government telling me what I can and cannot do in my own home on my own time. Why do so many people on this board not understand what the fuck government coercion actually is?

        1. It is their school.

          Not as long as it is publicly funded it’s not.

          1. Oh yes it is. It is everyone’s school. I think the rule should be that they can’t leave. You think the rule should be that they can. Who says your desire should override mine? We both pay taxes? We have elections to decide that. If you don’t like this, go run for school board.

            Publicly funded doesn’t mean “fuck you I get my way”.

            1. Then domestic surveillance by theNSA is cool? It is, after all, *our NSA*.

              How about drone killings of citizens inside America. It is, after all, our drone?

              1. Dumb ass. There is a constitutional right to privacy. There isn’t a constitutional right to go to school and not abide by any of the rules. Is it your opinion that students don’t just have a right not to attend school, but once there do anything they like without any repercussions? If not, then what is so special about telling them they can’t go to a protest that makes it different than telling them they have to come to class at all if they want to graduate?

                1. So your only issue is that the law is not in place? So, if the judges decided differently that this right did not exist, you would be okay? Because that is the extension of the rule of law?

                2. You keep moving the goalposts.

                  Students, like everyone else, have the right to do whatever they want to do as long as it doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights.

                  Not attending a class, by definition, doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. It doesn’t prevent anyone else from attending and getting their full service from it.

                  The school certainly has the *privilege* to set up requirements for graduation – and even with hold that diploma for excessive absenses. It does not have the *right* to compel attendance.

                  1. You should have no problem then. The school has simply said that you follow our rules or we are going to kick you out. No jail time. No fine. No rights violated.

                    What YOU want is a school that lets you do anything you like, AND puts up with you while you do it.

                3. Oh, also, at one time there was no constitutional right to privacy.

                  That was ‘discovered’ in the course of making abortion legal.

                4. The ‘constitutional right to privacy’ only applies to women killing babies.

                  1. If you think a fetus is a baby, try nursing one.

                    Fetus : baby :: egg : chicken.

                    No matter how much anybody wants a fetus to become a baby, it’s a different thing.

            2. Oh yes it is. It is everyone’s school.

              At this point you are explicitly advocating that democratic action cannot do any wrong to the people, because it IS the people.

              1. No I am not. I am saying that once you have public schools, everyone who pays taxes has a case to claim an interest in how they are run. But everyone can’t run the school or get their way. So how do you decide who does? You have a school board election and let the winners decide. How else can you do it?

                1. Yes you are. That is exactly what your post means as written.

                  The People’s will overrides the will of the people.

                  1. Tell me Agamenmon, how do you decide how the schools are run when people disagree about that? Do we have a duel? You want the schools run one way. Other taxpayers disagree. How is that difference decided if not through elections?

                    1. Again – strict scrutiny applies. IMO it should be the only standard for justifying anything the government does.

          2. It is a taxpayer funded school, and the taxpayers decide how to run it. They do this via elected school boards.

            YOU get to decide whether your child is subject the the rules of that school when you decide whether to let the taxpayer educate them, do it yourself, or pay someone else to do it (private school). This is not complicated.

      3. I for one am not approving of what this admin specifically did. I just find Shackford’s indignation that a school official would have the temerity to require students to attend class ridiculous.

      4. “Why is it so many of you guys keep coming around here commenting approvingly Everytime the government uses coercive power in a manner you agree with?”
        I often wonder the same thing. Either individuals have rights or they don’t. If you can’t hold your nose and defend someone else’s right even if you disagree with them, you’re not a libertarian so why pretend to be?

  18. Somehow Soave has turned the right to wear a Tshirt to class or go to a political protest outside of class into a right to leave class and go to a political protest. This an example of why people think libertarians are just liberals who don’t like taxes but like pot.

    1. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

      This

      1. Except this isn’t Soave.

        1. Oh God it is Shackford. I should have known. Even Soave isn’t this stupid.

          1. Oh God it is Shackford. I should have known. Even Soave isn’t this stupid.

            Stay classy, John. I guess there’s only enough time in the day to call everyone else jerks.

              1. Very mature. Are you 14?

              2. You’re calling “WAAAA” on someone pointing out that you just assumed that this was written by a person you hated so you could insult them?

    2. You are an example of why people think libertarians are just a fringe wing of the Republican party.

  19. Like many school officials, Rhodes wants blind obedience.

    So does my employer.

    1. I would love to know how Soave thinks you could run a school where none of the students were expected to obey the rules and were allowed to disobey any that they didn’t like. Freedom is not chaos. Is Soave 14 years old?

      1. What is special about “the rules” that, once they are in existence, people are compelled to obey them?

        And what is it about a school administrator that the rules he comes up with are beyond scrutiny?

        Finally, no one expects him to run a school where people are disruptive. But he doesn’t get to imprison those who choose to be disruptive elsewhere just because he’s “made a rule”

        1. What is so special about the rules you have in your house or your business? If you want to object to the government running schools, fine. But since they are running the schools, they have every right to run them however they want providied it is not discriminatory or arbitrary. If you don’t like it, go run for school board and change it.

          You think this is bad. A lot of people disagree. Why do you get your way and they don’t? What the fuck gives you more authority than the people running the school? Nothing. You just don’t like it. Too bad. Sometimes life is like that.

          1. What is so special about the rules you have in your house or your business?

            He owns his house or business.

            1. All the taxpayers own this school. So how do we decide how it runs if not through elections and putting people in charge of it as a result?

              1. No, the government owns the school. If I own something, I can sell it. I think that’s a good standard for if you really own something.

                So how do we decide how it runs if not through elections and putting people in charge of it as a result?

                School choice would be a good start. Let students and parents decide individually if that’s how they want the school run.

                1. Zeb, no one says these kids can’t go to a private school. And whatever you think of public schools, they exist. And since they do exist, don’t they have a right to have rules? If not, then how could they ever function? If they do, then what is wrong with this rule versus any other? If a school can’t tell a student “you can’t leave class to attend a protest” how can they tell a student they have to attend class at all or follow any rules?

                  1. I’m not really disagreeing with you about the rules existing, as I say below. My point here was that school choice, for public schools, is a better mechanism for allowing people to have their kids attend the kind of school they think is appropriate than through voting and elections. That will always leave a significant minority with something they don’t want.

                    And I think that the idea that we somehow all own government property is BS. Give me my share so I can sell it, or I don’t own shit.

                    1. That is the thing Zeb, what people on here are doing is taking their reasonable objections to public schools and transferring them into batshit crazy objections to public schools having any rules or standards of behavior.

          2. Well said.

          3. The actual comparison here isn’t “running for school board and change it.” The true corollary would be to change schools. But people can’t always do that.

            1. Sure JCW people can’t change schools. But the people who disagree with these people getting out to go to the protest can’t change schools either. Again, someone has to get their way. Why should it be you instead of the people who were hired by the school board to run the school?

              1. Because this is a libertarian sitethat tends towards advocating individual choice. Unless your argument is that choice can’t be made right now so who cares? If your whole argument is “the law is the law” then you argue for nothing but meaningless tautology.

                1. You are not advocating individual choice. You are advocating your choice over other people’s choice. The other people pay taxes too. And they want the rules to be different than you want. Why do you automatically get your way?

                  1. No, we are advocating for the parents and their children – a large group of individuals – to be allowed to make their choices and to not allow a single*appointed* school administrator to override them.

                    You are advocting to allow a majority to strip the freedom of the minority.

                2. If your whole argument is “the law is the law” then you argue for nothing but meaningless tautology.

                  That’s so John.

              2. Yes they can change schools.

                They may not want to make the life changes that would be required, but they can.

                I am pretty much tired of “I can’t” really meaning “it is inconvenient for me”.

                You can move.
                You can Home School.
                You can find a private school.

                You can’t fly to the moon in only your underwear.

                See the difference? Can’t means NOT POSSIBLE.

          4. Except this very exame you’ve been defending is both arbitrary and discriminatory.

    2. Thanks for the correction. Is Shackford 14 years old?

      1. I always find it funny when someone sarcastically asks someone their age. It has an immediate reversal effect for me. It’s such a ridiculous and dumb thing to say.

        1. It is not dumb. A lot of people seem to believe things that anyone who matured passed a certain age have moved beyond. Not understanding why the teachers and administrators get to make the rules at the schools they run is a great example of something anyone who has matured beyond the age of to be charitable 14 should have moved beyond.

          1. Teachers know what’s better for the kids than parents, am i rite?

            1. No. Getting to make the rules doesn’t make the rules right. Why would think that someone having the authority to do something would make their actions good? Sometimes people lawfully and with the authority do dumb things. That doesn’t mean we stop thinking there is such a thing as lawful authority.

              1. Do you think we are literally arguing whether the school can enforce this rule or not? Not whether it’s right or wrong, but you believe we are only arguing whether they can physically do it?

                Like, when people here are upset over a cop killing a person and getting off, do you believe we aren’t arguing that this shouldn’t happen? Do you think we’re arguing that it literally didn’t happen? Because this is the useless distinction you are drawing right now.

            2. No, the taxpayers are paying the bill, and they (or their representatives) get to make the rules.

              See how simple that was?

    3. Do you work for the Army? Because my employer tends to hire people with critical thinking skills who is more concerned about completing the project than obeying the rules.

      1. Since when is going to a protest completing the project of high school? Critical thinking skills will tell you that fucking off and playing SJW instead of going to class isn’t going to accomplish the project of learning anything or getting anywhere. Also, telling people that no one should be in charge and I make my own rules even in your institution is not exactly a recipe for success. But don’t let me stop you from trying it Hugh.

        1. Honestly, going to a protest and interacting with the world is an exceptionally greater learning experience than a day of classes.

          1. And if it turns violent?

            1. Getting teargassed and zip-tied by a cop is educational too, in its way.

              1. If you think that would be an educational experience for your brats, have at it.

                Here, we’ll pass.

            2. That’s even more useful knowledge.

      2. Sooo, why did your employer hire you?

    4. Rhywun needs a new job, apparently.

      1. I keed, mostly. Actually, it’s pretty relaxed. I could certainly take a day off to go protest somewhere but I would have to request it. Can’t just walk out unexcused.

        So… I do think there’s a middle ground between “I make my own rules, man!” and what the admin is doing here. The parents should be allowed to excuse them, for example. But if the kids just walk out, I think there should be some sort of repercussion.

        1. Repercussions s from their parents – definitely.

          From the state? They aren’t disrupting anything – they won’t be there to disrupt anything – so no.

          1. So if a kid doesn’t ever come to class or do any work, can the school not do anything in response? Are they obligated to let him graduate? Why not? He didn’t bother anyone. Who is the school to punish him by not letting him graduate?

            If the only rule a school can enforce is “you can’t disrupt anything”, then how can a school operate at all and how can it enforce any expectations on its students?

            1. So if a kid doesn’t ever come to class or do any work, can the school not do anything in response? Are they obligated to let him graduate? Why not?

              If he can pass their test then, yes. They should be given the degree, because schools should just be training for accreditation. If they can do that without going to class, I do not believe that should matter in the least.

              1. That is a nice opinion Best used cars, but what if the taxpayers who fund that school disagree? Do they have a right to have elections and run their school differently or is your way a question of human rights such that doing any different shocks the conscience and should never be allowed?

                If not, then why can’t this school do what it is doing?

                1. Then fuck them.

                  Just because the majority wants it doesn’t mean the majority gets to do it.

                  WTF man? Here you are again advocating the idea that the majority can run roughshod over the minority.

                  A couple of years ago you were all about that not happening.

                  1. Is it really because your Team is in power right now?

                  2. Then fuck you. They don’t agree with you. Why am I obligated to give you your way? You want to say “fuck them”, they can and will say the same thing to you. I don’t know or care who is right. But don’t tell me that you have some special claim to be right over them because you don’t. All you are doing here is screaming that you don’t like this. Good for you. That doesn’t mean the people who do like it, don’t have a right to do ti if they are the ones in charge of the school. You can’t seem to grasp that just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean that it is so wrong as to be a violation of fundamental rights and be something no one should do. Yes, people who run schools can tell their students they can’t leave class to go to protests. That sucks I guess but it doesn’t violate their rights such as to vitiate the authority of the people running the school.

                    1. You’ve been consistently saying throughout this thread that the state is allowed to trample on the rights of people solely because a majority has decided to do so.

                      Yes, compelling attendance violates rights.

                      As far as screaming goes – you also have been screaming that you like *this particular rule*.

                      What happens when one comes up that you don’t like?

                2. but what if the taxpayers who fund that school disagree?

                  What if the parents who are a taxpayer disagree and think their kid should be allowed? Or is your belief that if a majority say so, then it is moral?

                  Do they have a right to have elections and run their school differently or is your way a question of human rights such that doing any different shocks the conscience and should never be allowed?

                  No, as long as attendance is enforced, and taxes are collected by force then they literally do not have a moral right to force these things. Unless your argument is that the can because they can. Then of course, the state could murder the kid right now and get a way with it. That doesn’t make it correct.

                  1. What if the parents who are a taxpayer disagree and think their kid should be allowed? Or is your belief that if a majority say so, then it is moral?

                    They are free to not send their kids to public school. Indeed, if they are over 16, not send their kid to school at all. The problem you list would be true for the other side if you got your way. You don’t seem to be bothered by the people who disagree having to send their kids to schools with rules they don’t like because well you want your way. That is nice but so does everyone else. Yes, unless you are talking about laws that infringe on fundamental rights, the majority rules. That is how Republics work.

            2. No they are not obligated to let him graduate. I don’t know ow why you’d think differently – we’re talking about compelling attendance here.

              However, graduation. Should be based on performance metrics and not attendance.

              If I can demonstrate mastery of the academic skills that are the whole point of school the I should get my diploma.

              Not just because I showed up and did what I was told.

              1. I will ask you the same thing Agamenon. That is how you think schools should be run. Why is that the only answer and taxpayers who have different opinions never be allowed to get their way? All you are telling me is how you think schools should be run. Good for you. That doesn’t mean that people who think differently should not be able to run schools their way.

                1. The People is more important that people.

                  How about this – schools are run with the least amount of coercion consistent with that whole ‘compelling government interest’ thingy.

                  So no compelled attendance. No petty Hitler’s making rules about haircuts.

                  You don’t want to attend? That’s between you and your parents. Come ’round and demonstrate mastery of skills or we’re not giving you a diploma

                  1. Again, where is it written schools must be run the way you say? You are not the only one who pays taxes. Why should you get your way and no one else?

                    1. There is this thing called the ‘United State’s Constitution’ which lays out theimits of what we permit the state to do.

                    2. So where does the Constitution say that I have a right to attend school and only abide by the rules I like and can’t be compelled to attend class as a price of being a student? Which amendment is that?

                    3. No John. Where in the Constitution does it say the government has been granted the privilege to mandate attendance.

                      You say you’re a conservative yet you don’t know how the Constitution work

          2. Repercussions s from their parents – definitely. From the state? They aren’t disrupting anything – they won’t be there to disrupt anything – so no.

            Fair enough. My main point here was that kids have to learn rules. And you’re right, that should be the parent’s responsibility.

          3. The act of a bunch of students standing up in the middle of class, pulling out signs, chanting slogans as they leave class, and grouping out somewhere on school property to listen to student activists shout at them *IS* kind of disrupting in my opinion.

            This is not about prohibiting students from joining a protest somewhere else, it is about denying them use of the school as a forum for the protest which, IMO as a parent, should be their damn job.

      2. Unfortunately he won’t know that until his employer tells him so.

  20. This is the new normal. You skip class, you get punished by more of what you chose.

    It is the other side of business that perform so poorly you walk out saying you will never come back again. And by way of ‘customer retention’, they offer a discount on your next visit!
    I always take the discount coupon or gift card or whatever, and hang around outside to give it to a customer on their way, explaining how I got it and why I am giving it away.

  21. He’s not proposing to punish them for expressing their opinion. He’s proposing to punish them for not attending class during regular school hours.

    Yeah, it’s kind of ironic that the only penalty he has available is suspension, but I’m sure he’d get all corporal on them if allowed, so the irony isn’t his fault.

    1. Yes, he could do ISS. Do people not know about in school suspension?

      1. I honestly have no idea what that is. We didn’t have any such thing.

        1. In-school suspension. You basically sit in detention all day and are forced to work on school stuff separated from the regular population.

          1. Yeah, unless your daddy is going to whoop your ass all day if you get suspended, ISS always seems like a way worse punishment to me.

        2. You get placed somewhere in school apart from your peers for the duration of the ISS.

  22. Whether or not punishment is appropriate here, I don’t see why walking out of class to protest should be treated any differently from walking out of class to go smoke pot behind the gym.

    And everyone seems to have forgotten that the point of a walkout or strike or other kind of defiant protest is that you care so much about the issue that you are willing to accept the consequences. Walking out is only a protest if walking out is against the rules. To have a successful walkout, you need to convince enough people to participate that punishing everyone would cause even worse problems.

    1. That is a great point Zeb. These kids want to be able to protest and walk out but then avoid the consequences for doing so. They don’t seem to understand what the point of civil disobedience is.

      1. It sucks that the kids and parents are largely stuck with this school and these rules. I’ve got all kinds of problems with public schools and compulsory attendance.
        But the schools are going to have some rules, and even in a totally private system, many of them will probably punish you if you leave class without permission. At least until people give up on the “lock the kids in a building all day” paradigm of education.

        1. I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect kids to show up to class and not leave because they feel like they have something better to do. And if the rule is reasonable and fairly administered, I don’t see how you can have a problem with it. Just because we would be better off without public schools does not mean that the ones we have would have no authority to enforce any rules. And that is what the position on here seems to be.

          To object to this you have to say one of two things, either the school has no right to enforce rules or there is something so unreasonable about telling kids they can’t leave class to attend a protest that it is somehow different and abusive where telling them they can’t leave class to do anything else is not. And neither of those positions seem very reasonable to me.

          1. I would imagine most parents (especially of students who are not highly self motivated) would want a school with a rule like this. If they don’t want that, then I got no problem with homeschooling, no-schooling, hippy weirdo school or whatever.

            1. And they have every right to run their school as they like. Some people can’t seem to understand that and think “I think it should be different” is the same thing as “it must be this way”. It is a total blind spot for a lot of people on this board.

              1. There’s an extremely puritanical streak that runs deep in some libertarians and, much like the puritans, they can be quite the authoritarians when the mask slips

              2. If the ‘taxpayers’ decided that they wanted to run their schools as labor farms, that would be ok then?

                1. Yes there are limits to what governments can do. Governments cannot violate people’s natural rights. I am sorry but the right to cut class in high school without any consequences is not a natural right. So stop making stupid analogies and pretending that it is or in any way like throwing people in prison without trial or enslaving people. It just makes you look fucking stupid.

                  1. The right of association is in the 1stAmendment. The right to unreasonable search and seizure is in the 4th.

                    Freedom of movement is one of those ‘natural rights’. You might make an argument that it doesn’t extend to a national border, but it certainly applies *inside* that border.

                    Compelled attendance is a violation of natural rights.

    2. Why does walking out to smoke pot need a punishment?

      If school has value, not attending with already have negative consequences – no need to pile more on.

      *Why* you aren’t attending class is between you and your parents.

      Leaving class is not disruptive so there is no violation. Of someone elses rights so there is no reason. For the state to intervene.

      1. Why does anything need a punishment? Does a school have a right to have any rules or expectations? If it does, then who gets to choose what those rules and expectations are, if the not the elected school board and their employees hired to run the school?

        You don’t think the administrators should be able to enforce rules. Okay, who should? And if it is no one, how does the school function?

        1. I mean, the way it was for literally almost all of human history was they functioned by supplying a good that people wanted without having the government force attendance. You know this system was created by the state within the last 100 or so years, right?

        2. Why does anything need a punishment?

          There shouldn’t be for victimless crimes.


          Does a school have a right to have any rules or expectations?

          The expectation should be can you pass their exams.


          If it does, then who gets to choose what those rules and expectations are, if the not the elected school board and their employees hired to run the school?

          So you agree that as long as a system occurs democratically, then everyone is bound to obey the rules and the bureaucrats of their system?

          1. If they choose to attend public schools, they must abide by the rules. If you don’t want to, then go to a private school or home school. You don’t get to show up and just do anything like.

            1. Except your payment is taken by force either way John. I feel like you believe there is no distinction between choice in the public and private sphere.

              1. My payment for the roads is taken by force too. That doesn’t mean I get to ignore the speed limits. You are making stupid arguments here.

                1. You don’t get to ignore the speed limits because you will be shot otherwise.

                  That doesn’t mean that any particular speed limit is correct and just.

            2. And using this same logic you do believe that if you live in the US, then anything inflicted upon you is correct. As long as the rules were done democratically, there can be no moral issue with the states implementation of those rules.

              1. Not anything you idiot. There are limits to government. They are called natural rights. I am sorry to break it to you but the right to cut class and go to a protest without any consequences from the school is not a natural right. It just isn’t’. Stop acting like having attendance rules at a school is the same thing conceptually or in practice as throwing people in prison without trial or spying on the public. It is fucking ridiculous and why so many people think Libertarians are kooks.

              2. Not anything you idiot. There are limits to government. They are called natural rights. I am sorry to break it to you but the right to cut class and go to a protest without any consequences from the school is not a natural right. It just isn’t’. Stop acting like having attendance rules at a school is the same thing conceptually or in practice as throwing people in prison without trial or spying on the public. It is fucking ridiculous and why so many people think Libertarians are kooks.

        3. As I think I’ve made clear – no, the school has no rights

        4. The school is acting in loco parentis. When we send our kids there I expect them, and they have a moral and legal obligation, to supervise their behavior and maintain a safe environment for learning. Just as we do when they are at home. This does not include permitting them to leave on their own volition whenever or to wherever they wish. We’re expecting the school to keep them safe and enforce the schools code of conduct.

          1. No, you’re expecting the school to imprison them.

            1. Correct, they do get to home at the end of the day though, unless they’ve got a detention to serve, in which case maybe they don’t want to go home.

            2. They can leave and quit school any time they want. They are no more imprisoned than you are at your job. To say they are imprisoned is retarded. I am sorry but that is retarded.

              1. I would have said silly, but retarded works too.

              2. Except that you have been saying that if they change ‘the rules’ then they can’t.

                And really, what’s the functional difference between dropping out one day and returning to school the next and simply not showing up for a day?

      2. Why does walking out to smoke pot need a punishment?

        I didn’t say it did. But leaving class without permission is apparently against the rules. So they should expect the consequences. I’m not trying to say that I think the rules they have are necessarily good. My main points are:
        1. I don’t think this is some special case that gets special 1st amendment protections or anything like that. If it’s outrageous to punish kids this way for leaving class this way, then it’s equally outrageous to punish them for leaving class for whatever other reason.
        2. If you want to participate in a civil disobedience kind of protest, you need to expect and accept the consequences. That’s the whole point.

        1. The consequences in this case stem not from leaving class but from disobeying the dimtats of a petty bureaucrat.

          I guess that’s a lesson they need to learn to considering how many people *here* consider this princie’s actions justifies.

          1. Yes, he broke the rules. Yes, rules at schools are made by petty bureaucrats. So what? Schools have a right to enforce rules and they are run by petty bureaucrats.

            1. And it’s obvious that that is the world you prefer – as long as they are rules you like.

              Trannies using the restrooms of their choice? Oh no, can’t allow that even if the majority we’re to want it.

  23. don’t put your kids in public school. problem solved.

    1. Bingo. Nothing says you can’t homeschool or send them to a private school. Also, the compulsory school age ends at 16 in most states. So these kids are free to quit school if they like. If having to show up to class is just too much for them, they are free to quit and leave the place to those who don’t find that to be too much of a burden.

      1. So they’re free to quit school – and return – but they’re not free to quit school and return?

        1. They are free to quit school. If they do, the school is under no obligation to take them back. If they don’t like the rules, they are free to leave. How you can think that is some kind of violation of their rights is beyond me.

          1. Except that public schools are absolutely required to take them back.

            How did you get the idea they weren’t?

  24. The most important question that I want to know the answer to is how does Scott feel about getting to be Robby for a little while? I’m sure he wishes he was actually so pretty with that perfect golden mane.

    1. We all wish we had that golden mane.

  25. Gosh, if only nikki still commented here…

  26. Since when does leaving campus or skipping school get you a 3 day suspension? If the regular punishment is enhanced because it is linked to protest activity, then you are violating these kids first amendment rights.

    1. It could depending on whether it was a repeat offense.
      In any case K-12 public school students possess limited First Amendment rights.

    2. Leaving campus as part of a coordinated event meant to disrupt the learning of your peers could merit a suspension.

  27. Why do you get suspended?

    Because there’s nothing to protest.

    There are no ‘school shooting advocates’ out there that need to be protested against. There’s no one out there saying ‘let them kill children with impunity!’ that the students need to rise up against.

    This is leftist theater, plain and simple. This is the usual mantra–‘help us disarm you so it’s easier to enslave you’ trotted out again by useful idiots.

  28. The fact that this public school principal thinks he was genetically programmed to be a better, more obedient student is the most disturbing part of the story.

  29. He’s a typical Texas school bureaucrat. It’s the same bunch that wants “in god we trust” emblazoned everywhere in the school and thinks creationism should be held as scientific doctrine. They do not like free-thinking students who know their rights or civil responsibilities. They just want little Republican zombies. I’ve seen it over and over in rural Texas (and the rural South in general)

  30. This isn’t about students protesting, it’s about students (at the behest of adults with an agenda) using the school disruption to draw attention to the protest. The article goes on to mention that at least two different groups are calling for a national school walk-out day to protest gun violence. If disrupting school wasn’t the point, then they’d schedule these ‘national protest’ days on a weekend or after school hours.

    I have no problem with a school administrator who refuses to play along with that game and consider a blanket viewpoint-neutral ban reasonable (especially as opposed to the schools that explicitly tell parents how to excuse their child wink-wink-nudge-nudge). I’m sure, if a parent wanted their child to participate in the protest, they would be able to excuse them for the day to do so. That way the kid could protest but it wouldn’t be on school time and property or interrupt the learning of the kids who disagree.

  31. Superintendent Curtis Rhodes is a knob.

  32. Will they be allowed to go out if there is a shooting in the school?

  33. God forbid students should go to school to study! Everybody knows it’s all about letting kids who don’t know anything about anything disrupt study!+

  34. Maybe my eyesight is failing but the school chief’s statement doesn’t actually mention skipping class. So the headline seems poorly justified.

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