Page 1 of 1

Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 15 Mar 2018, 18:37
by lunchstealer
Y'know, all the stuff that isn't condiments and pizza toppings.

http://reason.com/blog/2018/03/15/natio ... rtion-guns

Quick summary:
Julianne Benzel told CBS13 that she suspects she got in trouble for suggesting that schools administrators who condoned the student walkout might be practicing a double standard.

"And so I just kind of used the example which I know it's really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time," said Benzel. "[If] a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided 'I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes' and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?"
But Soave's takeaway has me wondering.
Students' free expression rights should vastly outweigh the state's interest in locking kids up all day, and letting them peacefully protest gun violence seemed like the right call to me. But if it's OK to protest, it should also be OK to have a discussion about the protest. As long as no student was unjustly disciplined for political speech, it seems to me like there's little reason for parents to complain or for Benzel to be in trouble.
The protesters were doing it voluntarily. Walking out of their prisons to voluntarily engage in protest. The discussion about protest wasn't done in that voluntary walkout, but done within the state sanctioned jail, led by the state funded jailer. So the two aren't 100% analogous. On something like abortion, I'd just as soon state teachers be 100% viewpoint neutral, so even positing 'pro-life' but not 'pro-choice' is getting into sketchy territory for me. If kids bring it up, I'm not sure she should quash it, but it's definitely sketchier than just 'free to protest' and 'free to talk about protest'.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 16 Mar 2018, 13:00
by Dangerman
I'm slow, what's sketchy? That she brought up abortion as an example of a controversial topic, in public school, or that she suggested that teachers and administrators would not support pro-life views?

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 16 Mar 2018, 13:49
by lunchstealer
Dangerman wrote:
16 Mar 2018, 13:00
I'm slow, what's sketchy? That she brought up abortion as an example of a controversial topic, in public school, or that she suggested that teachers and administrators would not support pro-life views?
Mostly the latter*. The former is a bit unnecessary, too, because it could easily turn into a bullying session if there's only one or two pro-choicers or pro-lifers and the others gang up on them. At a private school where everyone has a choice about being there, that's no big, but if you're in public school where you're compelled to be there by anti-truancy laws, you shouldn't necessarily be forced to deal with that shit.

In a perfect world, sure that's no big deal, but with actual teenagers and actual schoolprisons, I'm fine with them staying way the hell away from it except basic factual information presented as part of a sex ed curriculum.

*ETA: It's a bad idea for agents of the state to get involved in speculating on what other agents of the state might be doing to violate the first amendment, and viewpoint restrictions on speech are generally a no-no. Even if it's not true, it gives students the impression that the government tacitly favors one position over the other.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 16 Mar 2018, 16:10
by Dangerman
The California Teachers Association explicitly endorses specific legislation on their website. I think its correct to point out that Government is people, and that people have political goals, so be sure you're asking a lot of questions. Assuming that anything Government *is* apolitical, as opposed to *ought to be*, seems like folly.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 16 Mar 2018, 16:28
by Mo
The CTA is not a government organization.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 16 Mar 2018, 16:40
by lunchstealer
Dangerman wrote:
16 Mar 2018, 16:10
The California Teachers Association explicitly endorses specific legislation on their website. I think its correct to point out that Government is people, and that people have political goals, so be sure you're asking a lot of questions. Assuming that anything Government *is* apolitical, as opposed to *ought to be*, seems like folly.
I assume that the CTA is a union, and while I have issues with political activity of public-sector unions, at least if the public-sector union contracts directly with the government employer, as opposed to merely being a professional organization. But a teacher advocating for policies off the clock can reasonably be differentiated from advocating for policies unrelated to education on the clock.

Government is people, but it's also people with extra power when acting in their official capacities. They gotta be careful with that power.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 16 Mar 2018, 16:52
by lunchstealer
And it's the captive audience thing that's the issue.

This is touched on a bit at around 22:50 in this episode of Ken-from-Popehat's "Make No Law" podcast.

https://legaltalknetwork.com/podcasts/m ... use-gates/

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 17 Mar 2018, 10:51
by Dangerman
I still don't see an issue with what the teacher did.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 17 Mar 2018, 15:36
by JasonL
I don’t see a problem with the abortion point that doesn’t also apply to the guns point.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 17 Mar 2018, 16:24
by lunchstealer
JasonL wrote:
17 Mar 2018, 15:36
I don’t see a problem with the abortion point that doesn’t also apply to the guns point.
A lot of schools made a real effort to turn their 'sanctioned protests' into feel-good be nice to each other love ins. Lots of reports of students getting shut down by administrators for talking about gun control. This is why you don't go to state sponsored protests.

Re: Teachers, protests, guns, and abortion

Posted: 17 Mar 2018, 16:53
by lunchstealer
And my primary problem is any implication that the administration/teachers might have preferred stances. This applies equally to guns and abortion. Say what you want on your own time/dime, but don't draw a public paycheck while pushing your own politics or suggesting that your colleagues do/should.