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I cannot be silent about the article in the Times-Mirror regarding the student walkout protesting the Trump administration. I read the comments at the bottom of the article, and while Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents (LEAP) does not endorse any one person, entity, association, or party, and the like, I do endorse our students. 

The students have the right to free speech.  They are taught about government in school, and they should not be reprimanded for applying their teachings and exercising their first amendment rights.  We should support them and be proud that they are willing to stand up and speak.  These are the kind of leaders we need in the future to advocate for the adults who are criticizing them now.

They let their voices be heard via peaceful protests.  We should listen to their concerns and be a resource for resolution instead of shutting them down.

I reviewed the current school year handbook, and found the following under
Students Rights and Responsibilities/ Freedom of Expression:

“Students may exercise their right to freedom of expression through speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and other lawful means provided such expression does not cause substantial disruption or is not otherwise lewd, obscene, or profane. Principals may provide reasonable times and appropriate places for students to exercise this right.

However, the exercise of this right may be revoked whenever it becomes disruptive to the school program or interferes with the rights of other students to pursue their studies or activities or to express their ideas, or reasonably leads the principal to forecast disruption or interference. Students may not use this right to present obscene material; to slander or defame the character of another person or persons; or to advocate the violation of any federal,state, or local laws; or official school policies, rules, or regulations. Students shall have the right to present recommendations to teachers and administrators to advocate change of any policy, rule,or regulation. Teachers and administrators shall make reasonable arrangements of time and place to hear such recommendations.”

These are my comments. They do not reflect the opinions of LCPS or LEAP.

Rennea Butler

Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents

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