WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: Students participate in a protest against gun violence February 21, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Hundreds of students from a number of Maryland and DC schools walked out of their classrooms and made a trip to the U.S. Capitol and the White House to call for gun legislation, one week after 17 were killed in the latest mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The law in most places requires students to go to school, so schools can discipline students for missing class. But students cannot be disciplined more harshly because of the political nature of the message behind their actions.
The exact punishment a student could face will vary by state, school district and school. Most Florida school districts allow students to take part in protests on school grounds as long as it’s peaceful and follows federal, state and local regulations.
2. What if it turns disruptive?
School officials are allowed to put a stop to a walkout if it becomes disruptive.
Students cannot block streets or let the walkout escalate to civil disobedience.
The organization says these types of activities are legal as long as entrances to buildings are not blocked and passersby are not detained.
4. Can the school keep students from coming back after a walkout? Locking out students is essentially the same thing as a suspension, so it depends on whether the school usually issues suspensions for missing class. If getting suspended is not a punishment for an unexcused absence at a particular school, then getting locked out after a walkout at that school is not allowed.
5. How are a student's rights different at a private school than a public school? The First Amendment applies to public schools’ actions, but not those of private schools, so there is much less protection for students’ speech at a private school.
6. Can students be arrested? As long as no laws are broken, students shouldn’t have to worry about being arrested.
7. What are student's rights on social media?
A school cannot punish students for content they post off-campus and outside of school hours that does not relate to school.