Baltimore will sponsor student anti-gun protests

Taxpayers will shell out $100,000 so the city of Baltimore can bus public school students to an anti-gun rally. And that’s only the start of what’s wrong here, I write in a new Cato post. “A protest outing that is ardently enabled or even meticulously organized by the authority figures in your life can be like the ninth-grade English course that ruins Macbeth or Moby Dick for you.” I quote Lynda C. Lambert in the Baltimore Sun: “Part of protesting is finding your own way, for your own reasons….. Government sponsorship is destructive to these ends.”

My parting shot: “As for the separate question of whether compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be enforced against students for skipping school in a favored cause, I’ll see and raise: don’t enforce those laws against anyone period.”


  • I have read that the Baltimore schools do not have enough money to properly heat the schools. Meanwhile, since the Baltimore politicians decided to demonize the police, it is suffering from a Ferguson Effect, with violent crime and murder rates sharply increasing.

    DC is, also, approaches being a war zone (at least, in the non-gentrified areas).

    Perhaps the Baltimore schools, including funds provided by the Mayor, should take the kids somewhere safe and warm.

  • Here’s a story from January about the system’s failure to properly heat schools:

  • In 1974, there was a student organized and led protest against allowing women into one of the 4 Baltimore city wide schools that were gender segregated. (Two schools were all male and two were all female. For some reason the grades at all four schools were higher than those of other schools, even other city wide schools, but that is a discussion for another day.)

    Some of the students of the school left class and marched down the road to where the School Board was meeting to vote on the proposal. (The School Board refused to hear the students saying the students had no interest in the Board’s decision.)

    Prior to the school year, there had been a vicious teachers’ strike. The strike happened at the start of the school year and teachers that were not in the schools were not paid.

    One of those teachers was a beloved geometry teacher whose class I was sitting in when the students decided to leave and head to the School Board meeting.

    The teacher decided to make a point and threw a pop quiz.

    “Mr. Jones…what s 2+2?” he asked the first student who was in the class.


    “Good answer. Your grade is 100” he said.

    “Mr. Smith, what is 1 divided by 1?” he asked of an empty chair where a protesting student should have been. “Don’t know, lad? Zero.”

    He went through the entire class that. If you were there and answered the question, you got a 100 on the quiz. If not, you got a zero which was a devastating grade long term for the semester.

    The next day the school was abuzz with the teacher’s actions. We happened to be his first class. Students complained that the test was unfair. Other students said that they were there in class while the protesting students were out.

    The teacher listened to the arguments and said, “when teachers protested, we didn’t get paid. We took a loss in income to work for better pay and conditions. Protests and strikes have costs, gentlemen. Part of being an adult is weighing those costs and seeing what you want to do then.”

    There is no cost to the students wanting to protest at this upcoming event. It is, in essence, a paid field trip with no educational value yet the taxpayers will be forced to pony up the money and hear the School Board and the City complain about a lack of funds.

    • One of the better life lessons I’ve heard of being taught. Granted the oipportunity doesn’t arise for such every day, but a sharp cookie that teacher that saw an opportunity and utalizedit to the max. Now if only someone could devise an equally eye opening lesson about the necessity of every one of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights.

  • The real question is how would american civilization turned out if no amendments had been made and we only had the base document to go by?

  • […] My parting shot: “As for the separate question of whether compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be enforced against students for skipping school in a favored cause, I’ll see and raise: don’t enforce those laws against anyone period.”  [cross-posted from Overlawyered] […]