After protesting gun violence last week, Rocklin High School students are organizing a pro-life walkout using the hashtag #life on social media this week.
Organizer Brandon Gillespie, who says his history teacher inspired the idea, said they are organizing the event “to honor all the lives of aborted babies pretty much. All the millions of aborted babies every year” (see video below).
Rocklin High School history teacher Julianne Benzel was placed on paid administrative leave after expressing views about national school walkout last week. She says all she did was open up a debate about the politics of the protest.
Benzel says she questioned whether it was appropriate for the school to support a protest against gun violence if they don’t support all protests (see interview below).
“And so I just kind of used the example which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time—a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?” she said.
She felt it was appropriate to talk to her class about the politics of organized protests ahead of the school walkout, but the school disagreed.
CBS Sacramento reports: As thousands of students across the country walked out of class demanding strict gun laws, in honor of the Parkland shooting victims, Benzel was placed on paid administrative leave when she asked students to consider whether there’s a double standard in the national school walkout.
“I would like a conversation about when is too much? And are we going allow this on the other side?” said Julianne Benzel.
The principal at Rocklin High declined to meet with us for an on-camera interview, but a district spokeswoman tells us, he does plan to sit down with the student about the possible abortion walkout, and that’s not going over well with some of his peers.
“Abortions aren’t really anything that has to do with school or students here,” said Naeirika Neev, the editor of the school newspaper.
Using the hashtag “enough is enough,” Neev is reportedly taking a stance against anything anti-abortion on campus.
“They have their First Amendment, they can go protest about that anytime anywhere,” she said.
Brandon says protesting on school grounds gets to the point he’s trying to make
“I would like to see if there really is a double standard and what will come of that,” he said.