US Students to put pencils down, walk out in gun protests
Suspect held over Mexico missing students
<p>Federal police in Mexico have arrested a man they say is a key suspect in the disappearance of 43 students in 2014.</p>Erick Uriel Sandoval is accused of forming part of the gang that is thought to have killed the trainee teachers and burned their bodies. He was arrested in Cocula, the town near the rubbish dump where remains of one of the missing students were found.
From Maine to Hawaii, thousands of students planned to stage walkouts Wednesday to protest gun violence, one month after the deadly shooting inside a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Empty shoes, empty schools: U.S. gun law activists plan two days of theater
A makeshift memorial made up of 7,000 pairs of shoes took shape on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, as gun control activists dramatized the number of children killed in the United States by gunfire since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. The shoe demonstration comes a day before a massive nationwide walkout by students to demand tougher laws on gun ownership, part of a campaign that emerged after the killing of 17 students and staff at a Florida high school a month ago."This is really about putting the human cost of refusing to pass gun control at the doorstep of lawmakers," said Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of Avaaz, a U.S.
Organizers say nearly 3,000 walkouts are set in the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Students from the elementary to college level are taking up the call in a variety of ways. Some planned roadside rallies to honor shooting victims and protest violence. Others were to hold demonstrations in school gyms or on football fields. In Massachusetts and Ohio, students said they'll head to the statehouse to lobby for new gun regulations.
The coordinated walkout was organized by Empower, the youth wing of the Women's March, which brought thousands to Washington, D.C., last year. The group urged students to leave class at 10 a.m. local time for 17 minutes — one minute for each victim in the Florida shooting.
Dean disputes white professor's statement on black students
A white University of Pennsylvania law school professor who said she has never seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class has been removed from teaching required first-year law courses.Law school dean Ted Ruger said professor Amy Wax spoke "disparagingly and inaccurately" about the performance of black students during an interview with Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury on the "downside of affirmative action" last year."I don't think I've ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half," Wax said at the time.
Although the group wanted students to shape protests on their own, it also offered them a list of demands for lawmakers, including a ban on assault weapons and mandatory background checks for all gun sales.
"Our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence," the group said on its website.
It's one of several protests planned for coming weeks. The March for Our Lives rally for school safety is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the nation's capital on March 24, its organizers said. And another round of school walkouts is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.
After the walkout Wednesday, some students in Massachusetts say they plan to rally outside the Springfield headquarters of the gun maker Smith & Wesson. Students and religious leaders are expected to speak at the rally and call on the gun maker to help curb gun violence.
Missouri high school students marked truant, punished for participating in walkout: report
Students at a Kansas City, Mo. high school who participated in a walkout to protest gun violence on Wednesday were marked truant and punished. Only about 200 of Park Hill High School's 2,000-person student body participated in the walkout as part of a larger series of student-led protests organized across the country, Fox 4 News in Kansas City reported.But students were warned against doing so by teachers. Those that did participate were greeted by teachers in the school's hallways when they returned.
At Case Elementary School in Akron, Ohio, a group of fifth-graders have organized a walkout with the help of teachers after seeing parallels in a video they watched about youth marches for civil rights in 1963. Case instructors said 150 or more students will line a sidewalk along a nearby road, carrying posters with the names of Parkland victims.
The walkouts have drawn support from companies including media conglomerate Viacom, which said it will pause programming on MTV, BET and all its other networks for 17 minutes during the walkouts, and students will temporarily take over MTV's social media accounts.
The planned protests have drawn mixed reactions from school administrators. While some applaud students for taking a stand, others threatened discipline. Districts in Sayreville, New Jersey, and Maryland's Harford County drew criticism this week when they said students could face punishment for leaving class.
In suburban Atlanta, one of Georgia's largest school systems announced that students who participate might face unspecified consequences.
Her school vowed no penalty for the school walkout. Her teacher gave her an 'F' anyway
A Los Gatos, Calif., math and science teacher says the U.S. Constitution justifies his decision to fail a student on a quiz for leaving class Wednesday for the National School Walkout, despite earlier promises from the superintendent and principal that students would not be punished for participating. Load Error "When a publicly funded school promotes one side of a highly divisive political issue, we undermine the very constitution that protects the right we so cherish," David Kissner, a math and science teacher at C.T. English Middle School, told The Mercury News on Sunday.
But some vowed to walk out anyway.
"Change never happens without backlash," said Kara Litwin, a senior at Pope High School in the Cobb County School District.
The possibility of being suspended "is overwhelming, and I understand that it's scary for a lot of students," said Lian Kleinman, a junior at Pope High.
"For me personally this is something I believe in, this is something I will go to the ends of the Earth for," Kleinman said.
Other schools sought a middle ground, offering "teach-ins" or group discussions on gun violence. Some worked with students to arrange protests in safe locations on campus. Officials at Boston Public Schools said they arranged a day of observance Wednesday with a variety of activities "to provide healthy and safe opportunities for students to express their views, feelings and concerns." Students who don't want to participate could bring a note from a parent to opt out.
Meanwhile, free speech advocates geared up for a battle. The American Civil Liberties Union issued advice for students who walk out, saying schools can't legally punish them more harshly because of the political nature of their message. In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas, some lawyers said they will provide free legal help to students who are punished.
Associated Press writers Jeff Martin in Atlanta and Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report. Follow Binkley on Twitter at @cbinkley
Thousands of Slovak protesters call for snap elections .
Thousands of protesters across Slovakia called for snap elections Friday, in a sign that a change of government ministers has not been enough to quell a public backlash triggered by the murder of a journalist probing corruption. The president on Thursday appointed the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, whose predecessor and close ally Robert Fico had quit over the scandal.Demonstrators in the capital Bratislava chanted "we want elections" and "shame" and held up signs with slogans such as "we have the right to vote" and "we don't want this government".
Students to put pencils down, walk out in gun protests
From Maine to Hawaii, thousands of students planned to stage walkouts Wednesday to protest gun violence, one month after the deadly shooting inside a high school in Parkland, Florida. Organizers...
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