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A school watchdog group is protesting the student protests government school administrators are allowing in Jacksonville.

When it happened on March 3 at five local schools, Moms for Liberty – Duval County wrote to School Superintendent Diana Greene pointing out that it was against school policy.

They also pointed out media reports that said school personnel were participating in the walkouts, which took place at Parker, Sandalwood, Atlantic Coast and Mandarin high schools, and Landon Middle School.

The events were liberal-led political demonstrations in opposition to a bill since enacted by the Florida Legislature protecting parental rights by prohibiting detailed discussions of sex and gender to young children in kindergarten through third grade.

Moms for Liberty cited the board’s own policy, which says “Any student who participates in a boycott, walkout, sit-in, group demonstration, or any similar action which creates a disturbance or interferes with the orderly operation of school shall be deemed guilty of serious misconduct and shall be disciplined pursuant to the Codes of Student Contact.”

Greene responded, essentially blowing off their concerns by saying students had a limited right of expression in schools and that the demonstrations were “student led.” She added that the district would investigate whether any school personnel took part.

Then, another demonstration took place March 30 at Paxon School for Advanced Studies.

The political demonstrations were well-planned and organized statewide and complete with printed signs and megaphones for the main instigators. The liberal media, who also oppose the legislation, were invited to help promote the show.

If school personnel did facilitate, help organize or participate in the walkouts, that would seem to be a clear violation of the board policy that states: “No employee shall use his/her position in any way to influence or attempt to influence students to support or oppose any candidate, party or issue. Such prohibition shall include, but not be limited to, any form of advocacy or opposition in a classroom or school setting or other school related student-teacher relationship.”

The Moms for Liberty letter said, “After six planned protests, the district’s response is that even though administration can and will regulate the time, manner, and place of protests, these were not district or school-approved event[s]. To any fair-minded person, this appears to be a distinction without a difference.”

Students attend school to be educated, not indoctrinated. But they are easily manipulated by adults with a political agenda.

Eye on Jacksonville feels fairly safe in surmising that if students had wanted to protest some of the ruinous policies of the current administration in Washington, the effort quickly would have been blocked.

These walkouts clearly were partisan political demonstrations, condoned – if not led by – school administrators. Moms for Liberty deserves credit for bringing it to the public’s attention and demanding answers for parents.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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