Protest as family activity

Youth Against War and Racism (www.yawr.org) is organizing student walkouts in major cities on November 2, 2005 (Georg W. Bush's "re-election" anniversary), to demand an end to the war in Iraq, an end to military recruitment in schools, and to redirect war spending to education. Journalist Steve Brandt writes (www.startribune.com/stories/1592/5689671.html):

"Twin Cities-area high school students are being threatened with failing grades if they walk out next week to protest the Iraq war and military recruitment in schools, says a group known as Youth Against War and Racism. But school officials say that the students are OK if they get parental permission. (...)

In Minneapolis, for example, students under 18 need the permission of a parent or guardian to be excused for illness, religious purposes, recognized cultural observances, funerals or other family emergencies, or health or court appointments. But absences may also be excused with parental permission for "family activity" of up to five days. Collins said the district won't second-guess parents if they use this to excuse students for the walkout. And that entitles students to make up missed work or exams, he said.

The district said in a statement that although it's important for students to make their voices heard in a democratic society, it doesn't encourage walkouts for nonschool activities. It added that there are consequences for civil disobedience, and unexcused absences mean a student may not be able to make up work.

Youth Against War and Racism is asking students to walk out at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. A noon protest is scheduled at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Memorial Union plaza, followed by a march to a nearby military recruiting station and a teach-in."


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