Representative Dustin White is condemning schools participating in the National Student Walkout scheduled for next week. The statement comes after RSU 39 issued a letter saying that they will allow the student-led activity to take place.
"Though I strongly support everyone’s right to protest, students included, these protests have no place in our schools," said Representative White. "The school is a sacred institution that is principally unbiased, and filled with teachers devoted to furthering their students’ education. However, allowing students to walk out of class for 17 minutes not only hinders the teacher’s ability to educate, it undermines the neutral position an educational institution must take. For a walkout is not a remembrance but a political action. As a nation, as a state, and as a community we all have a right to grieve in our own way, but a walkout is a sign of defiance and protest that has no place in our schools. Students who value this neutrality or disagree will feel uncomfortable or compelled to participate so not to be the outlier. It only serves to further divide our communities. Now more than ever we must show solidarity, not division. We must be strong, and we must be united. For this reason I condemn any school official who allows these protests to take place without consequence to its students. I call upon Mr. Doak and all district superintendents to rescind their effort to further advance any political agenda and create division in our schools."
Representative White represents House District 146 in the Maine House of Representatives which includes the towns of Washburn, Blaine, Castle Hill, Chapman, Mapleton, Mars Hill, Perham, Wade, Westfield and Woodland.
The National School Walkout is designed to honor those killed in the massacre at Parkland High School earlier this year and to protest gun violence. It's scheduled for March 14th at 10 a.m.