School District Threatens to Suspend Gun-Violence Protesters (Video)

Eric Ortiz
Eric Ortiz is a journalist and innovator with two decades in digital media, Ortiz founded the mobile app startup Evrybit, a live storytelling and reporting tool, as a 2014 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at…
Eric Ortiz

A Texas school district has threatened to punish students for protesting gun violence. Students in the Needville Independent School District will be suspended for three days if they take part in any demonstrations during school hours in response to the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting, said Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes.

According to KHOU11, Rhodes made the announcement in a statement posted on Facebook:

The Needville ISD is very sensitive to violence in schools including the recent incident in Florida. Anytime an individual deliberately chooses to harm others, we are sensitive and compassionate to those impacted. There is a "movement" attempting to stage walkouts/disruptions of the school through social media and/or other media outlets.

Please be advised that the Needville ISD will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness!! Should students choose to do so, they will be suspended from school for 3 days and face all the consequences that come along with an out of school suspension. Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved. All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.

A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally. A disruption of the school will not be tolerated.

Respect yourself, your fellow students and the Needville Independent School District and please understand that we are here for an education and not a political protest.

Protest is a First Amendment right in the United States, but "this right, as with other constitutional rights, is not absolute," FindLaw reports. And sometimes protest rights are violated.

In the video above, Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur from "The Young Turks" discuss the First Amendment implications of the Texas school district's decision.

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