One day of demonstrations, I understand. Two looks suspicious. Three, and I know you're just ditching pre-calc.
I know about the First Amendment, and I know immigrants built this nation. But I also know you all need an education. And a few of you could use some schooling on what you're marching about.
Here's an actual soundbite from an actual student that actually aired at the start of KOLD News 13 at Ten on March 30, 2006:
"I came to protest I guess. I'm just with the Mexican people. A lot of my friends are Mexican.""Si se puede!" Yes, we can! Can... uh... what?
(Reporter asks a question)
"I don't exactly know what it's for."
Many of you aren't marching in protest. You're wandering in the wilderness, adrift on the waves of others' passion. You know not your purpose nor your politics. Your aim is hanging out with the crowd.
Did you know there's more than one immigration reform bill before Congress? Do you know that not all of them involve making illegal immigration a felony? Did you hear about the guest worker program the president backs -- at substantial risk to his standing among conservative Republicans?
Do your homework. Understand the issues. Understand your position.
Your teachers and principals are trying to help you. They are mercifully -- I say too mercifully -- sparing you from truancy citations and detentions to let you take a hike. They know a teaching moment is before them, and they are offering you classroom time to talk this out. I suggest you take their offer.
From KOLD News 13's report by Teresa Jun:
"We used the approach that we're not going to physically confront kids leaving school," said TUSD Superintendent Roger Pfeuffer. "Given the emotionality of the issue, I think we dealt with it appropriately."What are you administrators afraid of? Do you have nightmares of the 60's? Are images of Kent State pervading your thoughts when you see the cast of fourth-period Physics parading live on KGUN 9?
"Appropriately," my foot. It's time you put yours down.
A truancy citation is not a death sentence. It is not racist. Asking students to stay in class and march after school is more than reasonable. It's polite, if nothing else. Offer to help rally after the final bell.
Don't let parents get under your skin. They will holler and whine if you lock the school down, but do it anyway. You're paid to educate, not commiserate. Sensible parents will support you.
I cannot deny the satisfaction and emotional rush of publicly expressing your beliefs. But true satisfaction comes from understanding the framework of your convictions and forming your opinions from fact. All this is possible if you don't skip out on History and Civics classes. You can't learn it from the street.