The Chicago Republican Party has filed a complaint against the city school system over Wednesday’s walkouts for gun control, accusing the schools of violating laws against “political indoctrination” on public property.
Chris Cleveland, Chicago GOP chairman, said Wednesday that the complaint was filed Tuesday with the Inspector General for the Chicago Public Schools, where walkouts were expected at numerous schools in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
“The problem is we’ve got teachers who are taking kids out for a political rally on public property and public time,” Mr. Cleveland told “The Morning Answer” on AM650 in Chicago. “This is political indoctrination. It’s totally inappropriate.
.@ChicagoGOP Chairman Chris Cleveland explains their lawsuit against CPS over anti-gun protests: https://t.co/yJwTwDLlJL via @YouTube
— Morning Answer (@MorningAnswer) March 14, 2018
More than 185,000 students at nearly 3,000 schools were expected to participate in the walkout that occurred at 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, the left-wing group that organized the nationwide gun-control protest.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 14, 2018
Mr. Cleveland said his third-grader’s school had planned to allow escort participating students in grades 5-8 outside to observe the walkout after making posters on gun control.
“I have a child in a CPS school, and in this one they were planning to take grades 5-8 out, herd them out for this demonstration, they encouraged them to make posters about gun control to express their opinions,” Mr. Cleveland said. “I don’t think they’re telling these kids to be against gun control here. Clearly they’re pushing a political view upon them.”
Elementary school walkout in Alexandria, Virginia. More than 65 kids, and they are totally silent. Look at those faces. pic.twitter.com/ThyzDtyGo5
— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
He said the students were “not old enough really to have formed an informed political opinion on this and they’re going to do what their teachers tell them in this case, what their peers are saying they should do.”
Those who decline to participate were “going to put in their own room where they just have to sit,” Mr. Cleveland said.
He also said teachers who lead the demonstrations should be subject to sanctions, given that state law is “crystal clear on this.”
“CPS has an explicit rule which explicitly prohibits political demonstrations or rallies on public property,” Mr. Cleveland said. “A teacher who leads this sort of thing ought to be subject to some kind of penalties, or else the rule is meaningless.”
Students at many schools nationwide left their classrooms at 10 a.m. local time and observed a 17-minute moment of silence for each of the 17 people killed Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Videos from the events showed students at some schools waving pro-gun control signs and chanting slogans like, “Hey, hey NRA, how many kids did you kill today?”
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