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Houston-Area School District Threatens Suspensions Over Walkouts, HISD Says It Won’t Punish Participating Students

Students are rallying behind the Parkland shooting survivors, but some may have repercussions for protests

Classroom Desks
Classroom Desks

In the wake of the Florida school shooting, some students across the nation have been walking out of class to display solidarity against gun violence. In addition to reviewing security protocol, a Houston-area superintendent is threatening suspension for any students involved in a protest.

In a letter sent to families and published on social media , the Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes announced those students would be suspended for three days.

“Needville ISD will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness,” said Rhodes. “Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved. All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.”

The letter also says Needville is sensitive to school violence, but is focused on education and not political protests.

Houston Independent School District Richard Carranza told reporters Wednesday he's encouraging students to stay in class, if they're interested in joining walk outs in protest of gun violence. At the same time, he said he believes in the First Amendment and HISD students won't be punished for participating.

Student organizers in Florida are planning a march in Washington next month to demand stricter gun laws. There are also calls for a national school walkout in April, on the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine shooting.