Skip to comments.Group organizes walkout by students to protest war
Posted on 11/01/2005 8:37:33 PM PST by XR7
A planned student walkout Wednesday to protest the Iraq war is causing friction and uncertainty in some schools. An advocacy group called Youth Against War and Racism is organizing a rally and march in downtown Seattle as part of a national protest on the first anniversary of President Bush's re-election. Organizers, who want high-school students to walk off campus at noon, said they're expecting as many as 2,000 students from 30 schools in Seattle and beyond.
Organizers plan to begin the rally at 1 p.m. at Westlake Center, then at 2 p.m. march to the Capitol Hill Arts Center for workshops, a concert and speeches. School officials are not sanctioning the walkout, which is also meant to protest military recruitment in high schools.
"Obviously our goal is to have students in class," said Peter Daniels, a spokesman with Seattle Public Schools. "Kids are going to have to make decisions about whether they attend. Each school has attendance policies."
If students are absent without parental permission, it will result in a mark against their attendance record, Daniels said. Even with parental permission, some schools will not allow students to be absent for protests, he said. Each school has autonomy in how to deal with such situations, he added.
But protest organizer Carrie Hathorn said that for students, most of whom are too young to vote, walking out of class is one of the few ways to express their political views.
"We let them know that this is an act of civil disobedience, and then let them decide," she said. "There could be punishments or repercussions. It's in the hands of the students."
Hathorn said that high-school students from as far afield as Kirkland, Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard are expected to attend, as are many older students from local universities and community colleges.
School officials are uncertain how widespread the walkout will be. Some have banned students from promoting the event during school hours.
At Chief Sealth High School last week, Hathorn got into a testy debate with Principal John Boyd before Hathorn was escorted from school grounds by security guards.
Hathorn maintains that she was on campus legitimately, providing information about alternatives to military recruitment when she was falsely accused of handing out fliers promoting the rally. She said students already had the fliers when she arrived.
But Daniels disagrees. "This person was on campus just to hand out fliers, and that's not appropriate," he said. "Encouraging kids to walk out of school is directly in conflict with our goals of getting them to attend school."
He added that district policy bans distribution of political fliers on campus. Any nonprofit wishing to distribute fliers must also first get clearance from the district, he said. Public schools in Seattle and across the country generally allow military recruiters on campus; banning them would jeopardize a school's federal funding.
Many districts, including Seattle, also allow dissenting groups on campus to talk about alternative careers to the military.
Daniels said that a dozen or so angry people have contacted him mistakenly thinking the walkout is sanctioned by the district.
While the protest is not sanctioned, some officials are supportive. Seattle School Board member Sally Soriano said some teachers are organizing homework for students who attend, in order to minimize educational disruption.
Soriano said she may attend the rally and is personally supportive of its message and its educational benefits, if it gets students talking about Iraq and world events.
Roosevelt High School Principal Chuck Chinn said he hasn't seen any students with protest fliers on campus but would not allow distribution of the fliers if he were to come across them.
His understanding of district policy, he added, is that it's OK for students to be absent Wednesday afternoon so long as they provide a parental note.
Lake Washington High School Principal Mark Robertson said he expects about 20 students who belong to the Kirkland school's peace club to leave early for the rally.
He said anyone with a parental absence note will be excused.
Seattle Police Department spokesman Rich Pruitt said organizers have obtained the required permits. He didn't have an estimate of the numbers of students likely to attend, and police policy prevents him from discussing the extent of the planned police response, he said.
"Our initial response, and we are in discussion with the organizers constantly, is to keep this whole thing safe and let them get their message out, whatever that is," Pruitt said. "We are there to assist with traffic safety and see that no one gets hurt."
The group organizing the rally is a six-month-old national network of students and young people who mobilized to protest the war and institutionalized racism, Hathorn said.
The Fightin' Side of Me -- Merle Haggard
Big deal. They aren't learning anything anyways in the govt schools. Sounds like a great" day off" from school.
How about you jerks learn how to read and add...then when you graduate and have jobs...go demonstrate.
What kind of @%$# is this? How 'bout "Cutting class for any reason won't be tolerated. These dumb adolescents are here because they're too ignorant to be making their own decisions."
This is part of a national "day of resistance," carried out by an organization called World Can't Wait (www.worldcantwait.org), a front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party. Actions for tomorrow are planned across the nation. The list of endorsers is a who's who of Leftists!
The Answer fags are at it again.
I wonder if the student's planned this.
Wonder what our county is planning.
I wonder how many will skip school for this and go to the mall instead. I would. The recruiters really out to double up that day.
Maybe the communists at ANSWER will provide free booze, girls, and dope. That way, the entire event will be typical of self-absorbed idiot liberalism.
And by putting themselves forward, everyone who's ever heard the song, will know who the fools are! LOL!!
How did the schools organize such a thing without the parents approval ..?? But being the Seattle area .. I don't suppose very many of the parents would object.
These kids could care less about what they are walking out for. Just so that they can skip school is cause enough for them.
If you're 30+ and you still don't have a clue, then you just don't have a brain. Give them time.
I just clicked on your link and even though I'm not much of a country music fan I like the titles of those songs.
Yeah, I heard her on Medved....not only was she "uninformed" she wouldn't say which side she would have been on in WWII (If I heard correctly.)