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.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.