Renalia Dubose: Student protests are protected by the 1st Amendment
More than 30 Venice High School students left their classrooms and set up in the school’s courtyard on Wednesday, February 21st, as a walk-out protest. The students acted in solidarity with survivors from the massacre that took place in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The students were allowed to walk out of their classes for about two hours, until the school day was done. Venice High Principal Erick Jackson said he did not “condone” it.
Both Sarasota and Manatee school district officials said they do not yet have a formal policy on how principals and school staff should handle a walkout. Sarasota County district spokeswoman Tracey Beeker said the district was “in the process” of putting one together, but at this time, it was “up to the individual school.” Since this solidarity act, more walkouts are already being planned and organized by students and school staff.
Renalia DuBose, a retired Florida education veteran with the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, spoke to us about how student protests are protected by the First Amendment.
Picture credit: CNN