Lots of talk today about kids all over America walking out of school and showing their support and sympathy with the students of Parkland school. For many years I taught US Government to high school seniors. If any of them would have become involved in some legitimate form of peaceful protest I would have probably given them extra credit. Getting people involved in their government is a major purpose of education.
I remember on one occasion a few guys decided it was too hot to wear long pants. They also decided that it wasn’t fair that girls got to wear short dresses. So, during lunch they went home and put on their sister’s short dresses and returned to school. My class was the period jut after lunch so I was the one who first had to deal with it. I really didn’t care about their protesting but they truly did disrupt my class and that violated the dress code. I told them this was above my pay grade and they needed to visit the assistant principal’s office and let him sort it out. Instead they went downtown and had the local newspaper take their picture and write a story about it. I can’t recall what happened to them but I think they got a couple of days suspension.
I can’t remember who all was involved but their ring leader was Richie Norton, Julia Wise‘s brother. I’m pretty sure I never told Richie how I felt but I have always been a little proud of him for taking a stand and following through. In fact, on another occasion I took his lead and on an extremely hot day I broke the teacher’s dress code and wore shorts. Before the day was over I was called to the office and told It wouldn’t happen again. At first I threatened to go to war with the principal but later decided this wasn’t the battle I wanted to waste my bullets on.