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Students attending government schools in Jacksonville have learned that if you want something all you have to do is demand it loudly, like toddlers who lie on the floor screaming and kicking their feet.

In the span of one incredible week:

  • Students protested something they didn’t understand, demonstrating in six local schools.
  • They had a school principal join their protest.
  • They got plenty of free TV time from the local media.
  • The school system altered its original campaign.
  • Despite all of that, the students protested AGAIN, on a holiday in front of the School Board building. And got more TV time, and more praise.
  • In the end, the school superintendent lauded them again and invited them to help her run the school system, which was one of their demands.

Protest certainly has become a way of life in America during the disintegration of our culture. The local kids were just emulating what they see on TV constantly.

What they also saw going on, at what the media termed “mostly peaceful protests,” was burning, looting and killing.

So, what is happening in Jacksonville? Are we transitioning from Shakespeare to Saul Alinsky in public education?

If students think something isn’t being done right in a school, the proper course is to have a conference with a dean or the principal and quietly explain the problem they perceive, along with any solutions they have to offer.

They wouldn’t get on the 6 o’clock news that way but it would be a more civil and effective way to conduct themselves.

They also managed to frame the issue as a racial one, when it wasn’t. That is another lesson they are learning, somewhere, and they see it amplified in the liberal media’s continual effort to divide, rather than unify, the nation.

Their pipsqueak cause wasn’t one justifying loud public protest. Protesting the name of a school program on suicide prevention isn’t exactly the same as standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square.

In addition, they were shouting the name of an organization with Marxist roots.

John Dewey, the democratic socialist who changed education in America, thought schools should be agents of social change. Not everyone agrees with Dewey, to put it mildly.

High school students have plenty of time to change the world. They likely will be inculcated while in college with the need to completely revamp America, the most just, prosperous and powerful nation in history.

Parents should be the first to correct this situation. But it is also incumbent upon school officials to maintain discipline while encouraging children to respect authority and seek change without needlessly creating a public spectacle — not to fawn over them for their misguided actions.

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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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