Teacher Asks Simple Question About Gun Walkouts, School Instantly Suspends Her
A California teacher has been suspended by her school after asking her class a simple hypothetical question about whether a pro-life walkout would be treated the same as the “walkout” for gun control.
According to KOVR, teacher Julianne Benzel says she was put on paid administrative leave after she tried to start a political discussion within her classroom.
Benzel, who teaches history at Rocklin High School, said “it was only appropriate to talk to her class about the politics of organized protests, ahead of the school walkout.”
The folks at Rocklin disagreed. First, she was told to stay home on Wednesday, the day most of the walkouts happened.
Then, on the day of the walkout, she received a letter from human resources that she was being put on administrative leave.
“We had a dialogue in class about it in Thursday and Friday. And today I received the call. So I am aghast,” Benzel said.
According to the history teacher, all she wanted to do was draw attention to what sort of speech was popular with students and whether they’d be willing to defend the rights of individuals with less popular opinions.
“And so I just kind of used the example which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time — a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?” she said.
Rocklin High School, for its part, issued a terse statement saying several parents disagreed with her remarks.
“A Rocklin High School teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave due to several complaints from parents and students involving the teacher’s communications regarding today’s student-led civic engagement activities,” the statement read.
Students, however, were a bit more understanding.
“I didn’t get any backlash from my students. All my students totally understood that there could not be a double standard,” Benzel said.
“I feel like if we were to go to school and say something like I want to walk out maybe for abortion rights, then you know they probably wouldn’t let us because that’s more of a conservative push,” student Nick Wade, who didn’t walk out, said.
“But someone wants to say let’s walk out for gun control then the school’s going to go with it because it’s more of a popular view,” he added.
If the facts are accurate, this is clearly a massive violation, and Benzel isn’t going to take it sitting down. She’s already hired counsel and plans to have a sit-down with the administration. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on that wall.
As for her beliefs, Benzel said she believes there’s a double standard.
“If you’re going to allow students to walk up and get out of class without penalty then you have to allow any group of students that wants to protest,” she said.
Good luck with that.
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