To the editor
I have some fact checking regarding Mr. Mann’s letter:
My classmates and I already participated in a walkout in February. None of us called for “taking away all guns” rather it was a vigil and a seventeen minute moment of silence for the seventeen lives lost in Parkland. It was a way to show respect and process this tragedy. Walkouts on March 14 were similar and were entirely student-led. There is no mass “illegal strike” by teachers planned.
Mr. Mann’s suggested punishment of giving students failing grades for walking out is illegal, which he should know since he’s an expert on Constitutional issues. Tinker vs Des Moines guarantees students freedom of speech. Students can be punished for walking out, but not any more then if they left school for any other reason.
Furthermore, his “one hundred percent confidence” that no none of us read our country’s founding documents is one hundred percent incorrect. We have history and government classes in school that cover these topics. My peers and I have taken AP US history and AP government and politics, read the Constitution multiple times, read parts of the Federalist Papers, studied the Bill of Rights and frequently discuss current events. I would argue that many of us are more politically aware then some adults. At 18 I am both old enough to vote and old enough to know that saying “none know the intent of the founding fathers as I do” is factually untrue and condescending.
His comment that Washington state schools are not gun-free zones and are required to have someone armed with items like a Taser is also untrue. According to the state law RCW 9.41.280 police and trained security guards are allowed to be armed on school property, but there is no requirement that they have to do so.
Lastly, Mr. Mann’s “Allah Akbar” comment is unwarranted and insidious. School shootings are not being carried out by Muslims or foreign terrorists, but by white Americans.
We can disagree about issues in this country, but talking down to students and including blatantly false information is unacceptable.