The Point

The Point: Walking out on Education?


John Stonestreet

Thinking can make you uncomfortable.

WORLD magazine recently reported that Julianne Benzel, a high school AP History teacher in California, got her class talking about the recent student walkout over gun violence. She urged them to research. And then asked: If the school sanctioned this walkout, would it be obliged to sanction walkouts over other issues, like abortion?

The school rewarded Benzel for this critical thinking assignment by placing her on administrative leave.

One parent emailed and said Benzel had “crossed a line.” A student said the abortion discussion made her “uncomfortable.”

O, good heavens.  You’d think parents and principals would want their school children to learn how to discuss and think critically about important issues. Especially in an Advanced Placement class!

But there’s a silver lining here: One of Benzel’s students was so motivated by the discussion, he met with his principal about staging a pro-life walkout. I’d bet that was a step outside his comfort zone. Good for him. Good for Benzel.

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