On March 14, thousands of students in schools all across the country participated in what was billed as a national walkout for school safety in honor of the victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. In reality, the walkout was little more than an agenda-driven protest in demand of strict gun control laws.
Needless to say, not all students and parents were thrilled at the tacit endorsement of a divisive political issue by the school administrations who allowed or even encouraged the walkouts to occur. Some parents let their children’s schools know exactly how displeased they were.
According to Independent Journal Review, one of those parents was a father named John Gunn, who visited the principal of his son’s school — Barbara Boggio of the Ventura Unified School District — in her office the next day to demand answers. He recorded the confrontation on his cell phone and subsequently posted the video online.
In the video, Gunn declined to specifically identify himself other than to state that he was a parent of one of Boggio’s students, and he largely kept the phone by his side during the encounter. But he did capture the entirety of their conversation, and the non-answers the principal gave in response to his pointed questions left much to be desired.
“I want to know who authorized these kids to go out and leave the class when I wasn’t even notified about it,” Gunn demanded.
“As our school planned for who and what, we anticipated something …” Boggio replied before she was interrupted as Gunn incredulously stated, “6th graders? 6th graders? When do 6th graders make decisions?”
“When do 12-year-olds make decisions?” he continued. “You’re an adult, you’re the school, you’re supposed to teach my child. You don’t influence my child in any which way. Democrat, liberal, Republican, whatever it is. I want it out of the school system.” Boggio seemingly agreed with all of this.
“So why did my son have to sit in that class — because he didn’t leave — but why wasn’t I notified?” Gunn pressed, to which Boggio replied that “if the student chose to leave, that’s their choice.”
“What do you mean that’s their choice? They’re 6th graders!” he shot back in disbelief. “If this wasn’t a protest and this wasn’t happening, you would let the kid leave? If this was not a protest yesterday across the country about gun control or whatever it is, you would have let the kids just leave?”
To both of those questions, the principal merely replied that she and the school would “make sure they are safe,” to which Gunn countered by stating that keeping them safe would include keeping them inside the classroom and not allowing them to leave the premises without permission.
Gunn mentioned on more than one occasion that he had retained a lawyer and was considering suing the school district, and repeatedly demanded to know who had given the OK for teachers to allow students to leave their classes for the protest, as somebody would have had to authorize it.
“I would never make a teacher ever shut the door and keep a student inside the classroom,” was Boggio’s response. Not getting a direct answer out of the principal, Gunn eventually succeeded in obtaining the name and phone number of the district superintendent and left to take it up with him.
According to IJR, Gunn made contact with the office of the district superintendent, Dave Creswell, but was told he was in a meeting.
IJR themselves reached out to both the principal and superintendent, but received only the statement “I won’t be making any comments” from Boggio and no response whatsoever from Creswell’s office.
This is insane and utterly indefensible, in that the principal essentially admitted that she would not stop a 12-year-old student from leaving the school on his or her own volition, even as the school is tasked with keeping students in the classroom to remain safe and learn, not wander off on their own to do whatever they want.
The response from the school principal to the father’s direct questions about the walkout and who authorized or allowed it was nothing short of unacceptable. He had every right to be furious at her decided non-answers to his queries.
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