March 29, 2006
Walkouts around the state
There were student walkouts in Dallas and Fort Worth yesterday along with those in Houston and elsewhere around the country. That will probably be the end of that type of activity - as Stace notes, the party line from school administrators appears to be that while these demonstrations will leave students subject to discipline at the discretion of school principals, any further such walkouts will bring harsher sanctions.
I'm okay with this. It's appropriate for the students to be held responsible for the work they missed, and it's appropriate for them to be subject to normal school rules for having an unexcused absence. As long as schools do not seek to single out students they identify as ringleaders, I support this action. Accepting the consequences for civil disobedience has always been a part of that tactic. The message has been sent and received, now it's time to channel that energy into other avenues, like writing to Congress members and registering to vote.
On a tangential note, this Statesman story talks about how the immigration issue is playing out in some campaigns so far. I found this chart of the positions taken by gubernatorial candidates to be enlightening:
Gov. Rick Perry (R)
Calls for more federal aid to border law enforcement.
Chris Bell (D)
Supports legislation approved by U.S. Senate panel ordaining more border security and allowing illegal immigrants to become legal residents.
Carole Keeton Strayhorn (I)
Supports more border and port security law enforcement aid and allowing U.S. citizens, including such groups as the Minutemen, working with officers to combat illegal crossings.
Kinky Friedman (I)
Favors expansion of border fencing and supports legislation approved by U.S. Senate committee ordaining more border security and allowing illegal immigrants to become legal. Also favors creation of guest worker program.
Yes, Carole Keeton Strayhorn appears to be running to Rick Perry's right on this. Maybe someone should call Tony Sanchez and let him know about it. And just as a reminder, here
is what Kinky Friedman said about "expansion of border fencing".
One last thing: Here's a picture from Dallas for those of you who mentioned flags yesterday.
UPDATE: Today's Chron coverage is here, here, and here. There's also blog coverage from Aaron Pena, Latinos for Texas, South Texas Chisme, and of course Dos Centavos.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 29, 2006 to National news
while these demonstrations will leave students subject to discipline at the discretion of school principals, any further such walkouts will bring harsher sanctions.
I'm okay with this. It's appropriate for the students to be held responsible for the work they missed, and it's appropriate for them to be subject to normal school rules for having an unexcused absence. As long as schools do not seek to single out students they identify as ringleaders, I support this action.
I generally agree; however, I have a concern with the highlighted phrase above. The implication is that the administrators intend to seek enhanced punishments for participating in demonstrations, over and above the normal punishment for unexcused absences.
If I'm wrong and they only mean repeat offenders will face harsher punishment, then I apologize. But treating the same offense differently, based on the offender exercising a constitutional right, is unconstitutional itself. If that's what the school administrators intend, I expect they'll be explaining it to a judge.
By the way, I'm with Chris Bell on the larger issue. McCain-Kennedy is a reasonable response to the issue; the other three candidates seem stuck in "git tuff on 'illegals'" mode (although Kinky is seemingly on every side of the issue: calling for the "American Wall," McCain-Kennedy, and Bush's bracero program all at the same time).
Strayhorn's endorsement of the Minutemen, who are struggling with racism in their midst, is especially troubling. Strategically, I still think Bell needs her on the ballot; but I want to assure the rest of you, she'll only get my vote if Bell is out of the running by November.
From Kinky's interview with O'Lielly:
Mr. Fox, help us build that fence.
Even ignoring the fact that Vicente Fox will be out of office before Texas's new Governor takes over, Kinky's not exactly channelling Reagan, is he? ("Mr. Gorbachev, keep this wall up!")