Happy New Year, kids! Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia will enact a new policy on January 27, 2020, which allows school students to skip school to protest.
So it begins. Fairfax County Public Schools system is one of the nation’s largest with approximately 188,000 students. With close proximity to Washington, D.C., it doesn’t take much imagination to understand where the students will be protesting. It is being touted as the first school district in the nation to incorporate this policy. The policy allows students in seventh through 12th grades to have one excused absence each school year for “civic engagement activities”.
Though the definition of civic engagement activities is vague at this point as described by spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell, Fairfax School Board member Ryan McElveen, who introduced the policy gave some examples that will be considered excusable absences – marches, sit-ins or trips to Richmond to lobby legislators. McElveen admits this is just the beginning of things to come.
“I think we’re setting the stage for the rest of the nation with this,” he said. “It’s a dawning of a new day in student activism, and school systems everywhere are going to have to be responsive to it.”
No, Mr. McElveen, school systems everywhere are not going to have to be responsive to it. Lots of protests are held on weekends to allow more people to join in. Allowing middle school and high school students to skip classes to go protest somewhere off campus is not an acceptable field trip. Not only is it an escalation of liberal indoctrination in the classroom but it is a public safety matter, too. What happens when the child is hurt in a crowd or is arrested? Why encourage that?