Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Student protests

Austin school officials are insisting that students not walk out on April 10. I can understand their position, but I think it's wrong. As an Austin Statesman reporter put it:

As the debate over federal immigration laws and the student walkouts continue around Central Texas and nationwide, school administrators and civic leaders are facing a conundrum: After years of telling young people they can change the world, what do you do when they try to prove you right?

It's a great point. Here's another from Drive Democracy, a liberal Texas blog:

We shouldn’t expect school administrators to just say, “Go ahead, skip school.” But, at the same time, effective civil protest must always be of a form that can’t be ignored. Peaceful? Absolutely. But rendered harmless, conducted in a way the authorities can simply ignore and smile weakly at, protests become invisible. These students are too smart for that. The invisible become easy victims.

Students should protest. Aren't we constantly teaching them that when we crack open the history books to the 1950's and 60's. Injustices, if ignored, will persist. So punish the students, but do it in a way that they understand that what they are doing is a vital part of American political life, not in a way that will scare them into the apathy that most Americans practice so assiduously.


Blogger Mike in Texas said...

I think people would be more sympathetic if they'd quit waving Mexican flags and start waving American flags. Two students from my district were prominently displayed on the front page of the local paper waving a Mexican flag.

10:51 PM  

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