The ACLU of Michigan is urging a Utica school to change a policy that caused it to suspend kids during a national school walkout for gun reform last month, as students prepare to stage another protest this Friday to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
In a notice sent home with students ahead of the nationwide March 14 walkout, the academy said kids were required to get the posters they'd be carrying approved in advance, and warned that those who didn't would face "disciplinary action." According to the ACLU, the letter included a stipulation that “NO political messages will be allowed/approved.”
The ACLU says students Meghan Biernat, Elizabeth Voytas, and several others did not comply with school rules, demonstrating with unregistered posters that urged students to call their senators to demand gun control. One poster read, “Thoughts and prayers don’t save lives. Gun reform will.”
The students were suspended for a day for insubordination.
Students at the school once again appear set for a collision course with administrators, with a Friday walkout planned to coincide with the anniversary of a deadly shooting at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999.
Other schools in the region also plan to partake in the nationwide walkout, including Dearborn High School. Narjis Alhacham, a junior at the school, is helping organize the demonstration.
“We are protesting that enough is enough," Alhacham says.
"We shouldn’t have to fear coming to school to get our education. We want to show solidarity with everyone [who] has been affected by gun violence and we want change.”
The students are planning to walk out at 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.