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Meet the Latest Victim of This Week’s School Walkouts

A Sacramento history teacher is put on paid administrative leave merely for suggesting to students another type of protest

While kids across the country engaged in politically charged walkouts this past Wednesday — spurred on and supported by left-wing politicos both elected and otherwise — one of their teachers was actually placed on administrative leave.

Why? Because she engaged some students in a discussion of the protest’s larger political implications the week before.

Julianne Benzel, a history teacher at Rocklin High School near Sacramento, California, was “aghast” when she got the call, a Sacramento CBS affiliate reported this week.

Benzel had a dialogue with her students about the protest last Thursday and Friday, a few days ahead of Wednesday’s walkout, The Hill reported.

She said she did not discourage student participation in the walkout. Rather, she highlighted a glaring double standard that comes into play when public school administrations sanction political protests on school days. The point she made, by asking her students to ponder a question, was that if schools permit students to walk out to protest topic A, should they then permit students to walk out to protest topic B as well.

Fair is fair. Right?

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But if that straightforward and logical observation wasn’t enough to irritate the liberal parents in the area, she went the extra step of providing — gasp! — a hypothetical example.

And what was it? Her example was about a potential abortion-related protest. But oh, no no no — that was over-the-top.

According to the school, Benzel’s classroom discussion generated “several complaints from parents and students involving the teacher’s communications regarding [the day’s] student-led civic engagement activities,” according to The Hill. As a result of those complaints, the school administration placed Benzel on paid leave.

“I just kind of used the example — which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time: [What if a] group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided, ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes and go in the quad area and protest abortion — would that be allowed by our administration?'” Benzel told CBS.

Related: After the School Walkouts, America Has a Newly Minted Batch of Victims

The obvious answer to that question is “no.” There is not a snowball’s chance in Hades that would happen in a public school.

And it shouldn’t. It is not the role of the public school to serve as a crucible for political protest. Schools cannot function and children can’t learn if students are permitted to walk out of classrooms at their leisure, without penalty, for political protests or anything else.

Benzel has retained legal counsel, CBS reports, and she will be meeting with her school administration on Friday morning.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

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