A California high school teacher was placed on leave on Wednesday because she questioned in her class what she said might be a “double standard” in the nationwide school walkouts.
“We had a dialogue in class about it in Thursday and Friday. And today I received the call. So I am aghast,” Rocklin High School teacher Julianne Benzel said. She noted that she did not discourage students from taking part in the walkout.
“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 — 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?” she told a local television station.
“If you’re going to allow students to walk up and get out of class without penalty then you have to allow any group of students that wants to protest,” she said.
Benzel also commented that she did not receive any backlash from the students in the midst of the dialogue. They all seemed to understand that the “double standard” was not acceptable.
A school district spokesperson said that Benzel was put on paid leave because of “several complaints from parents and students involving the teacher’s communications regarding today’s student-led civic engagement activities.”
Across the country, students walked out of classes on Wednesday to protest gun violence after the deadly shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month.
Students are expected to take the protests to Washington, D.C., next week.
What do you think about this teacher’s “double standard?” Should she have been put on leave?
Credit: The Hill