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Hundreds Of Local Students Participate In Peaceful, Somber School Walkout Across The 24/680 Wednesday

Photo: Steve Falk

School administrators, some of whom may have been caught off guard by the number of their students participating in a national day of remembrance/walkout at schools up and down the 24/680, asked for police supervision Wednesday.

But, as it turned out, the protests remained subdued and peaceful with students returning to class on their own accord after speeches, a 17-minute show of respect for those killed in a Florida school shooting one month ago and, in at least one case, poetry written to mark the day was shared with peers.



  1. If they really wanted to be “respectful” they would protest on their own time. Kids should be in school during school hours.

  2. Question Authority!! but only when permitted.
    Be respectful of your place, your class, your assigned sexual identity, racial identity (one drop of non-white blood), et cetera. I think the prior comment falls under the category of “unclear on the concept” of protest.

  3. All due respect and no slights intended cause I know this site doesn’t like that but I will say that some people appear to be suffering from Authoritarian Personality Disorder. It can be a blinding affliction with people swearing allegiance to cause, institutions, and people who don’t merit that kind of loyalty. While I agree that the kids are not likely to change anything by walking out of school I do believe they will be heard —- someday. Change takes time. It almost always has.

  4. Breaking news in forgotten American history…
    “Wait! You can’t throw those boxes of tea into the harbor. Not until you’ve paid the Stamp Tax on it.
    Hey! Stop that! In the name of the King.”

  5. The prior comment is unclear on the concept of “becoming an adult.” Adults don’t walk out in the middle of their jobs to exercise free speech. Student’s jobs are to be in class. The have plenty (more than adults) of opportunities to protest without interfering with academics.

  6. I understand some of the schools or individual teachers scheduled tests to coincide with the walkout, telling the kids there would be consequences if they left class.

  7. @chris: You reference a “becoming an adult” comment which does not appear in this comment stream for some reason. Was something deleted?

  8. If making money and having a comfortable life is your definition of “adult” then I guess we have a different view of adult responsibility. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were adults by my definition. They chose their destiny with heroic bravery and no childish illusions that right would prevail in a fight with the King of England. They offered more than their livelihoods to their cause, and many of them were successful and honored members of their communities. They had EVERYTHING to lose, and they offered it all up to the cause they found JUST.
    You don’t think someone who takes a day from work to protest a perceived grievance is an adult? Wow! You think that someone who values his personal pursuit for justice in cause A, B, or C over a derogatory note in his/her personnel file for an unexcused absence is not an “adult”. Wow! You have to be very comfortable to believe such things.

  9. I don’t know anything about the adult comment, but I do know not all kids protested peacefully. At Mt. Diablo HS in Concord, they broke down the gate to get back out. I guess 17 minutes wasn’t enough. Who’s going to pay for the gate?

    Let them be “heard” on their own time.

    Some schools practiced walking up, not walking out. Good for them…

  10. Apparently a math teacher at Diablo Vista Middle School administered a pop-quiz during the walkout, apparently with the intent of teaching kids that political speech has consequences. Walkers got a 0 – but I guess that’s better than getting teargassed and a couple of days in jail. Change can be hard.

  11. @david, the “adult” comment was aimed at you, but the (oblique) reference was lost when your “unclear on concept” comment was no longer right above mine In any case, my point was/is that responsible adults do not “walk out” (or “no show”) on their jobs when they want to engage in political speech. You wax eloquent about our Founders. I’ve seen Hamilton more than once and have memorized the lyrics– I know how that went down. They were almost all self-made well-to-do farmers, merchants and/or professionals. Do you really think any of them abruptly walked out on their crops, shops or clients to attend political events? Adults know about “work time” and “free time.” To paraphrase Mr. Hand: “[Protests] will be done on *your time*, Mr. Spicoli. Why must you shamelessly waste *my time* like this?”

  12. @ BP: Teenagers get used for propaganda. Congress members get used and abused by powerful forces. RAPED might be too kind of a word when it come to Congress members. Stockholm syndrome comes to mind…but propaganda and “nasty agenda” vs truth and working toward a common goal toward a better future, not a better future for those who lack for nothing, but a better future for the aggregate of us, the commonality of us, for our common humanity, those are discussions worth having. These kids are supposedly powerless based upon our recent history, but they don’t know that, and more importantly, they don’t believe that. They feel empowered by their privileged upbringing, at least in my community. They sense injustice. THEY SENSE THAT THE ADULTS ARE LYING TO THEM and not protecting them. DEJA VU 1971. The Pentagon Papers revealed that the US military knew the War in Viet Nam was not winnable even as they sent more draftees to their probable deaths and/or to commit war crimes by secretly bombing peoples/countries that we weren’t even at war with, such as Laos and Cambodia.
    This moment of alienation might be the start of something, especially since the current President is a pathological liar and the nation is at a point of crisis.

  13. I suspect that those fawning over the teen activists might struggle to find a viewpoint-neutral rule for when we should defer to and amplify the voices of 17 year olds when it comes to policy. It is part of the human experience to know that college students have too much enthusiasm and too little wisdom to guide policy. These are *high school* kids. It is disingenuous to rabidly embrace the “voices of children” only when the youth mob du jour happens to agree with you.

  14. “THEY SENSE THAT THE ADULTS ARE LYING TO THEM and not protecting them. DEJA VU 1971”
    That reference, 1971, was specific to the Pentagon Papers. More generally the period of discovery/rebellion was 1965-1971. The fact that the adults are not protecting you, and that they are lying to you about drugs, and sex, and the “just war” is not a trivial realization. That is transformational for a young person, and 17 year-olds are 12 months from voting age. The voting age, NOT coincidentally, was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971 when I was 19. Do you naively think that they just gave that to us? Hell NO! We were draftable at 18 and couldn’t even vote. WE WERE ANGRY AND LOUD! Large protests were the norm and cities had been set ablaze. Our “representatives” surrendered to public pressure because they were naked before the truth. They had no alternative at that moment. And, you, YOU weren’t there to see it. What does a “viewpoint-neutral rule” have to do with politics? That is a political oxymoron. This is a political discussion.

  15. I was there. I was two years old (in 1971). I think 25 is a much better voting age than 18. My kids would have voted for all kinds of dumb stuff when they were 18. I would have voted for a bunch of dumb stuff with I was 18. I think the opinions of teenagers should not be part of political debate, except to the extent their parents choose to reflect these views in their own speech and action.

  16. Kids at 18 are too dumb to vote, but excellent at humping military gear on the battlefield? That doesn’t seem like a just or desirable outcome to me.

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