California teacher on leave for interview walkouts
School: Students and parents complained about the teacher walkout notes. History teacher questioned the politics of the walkout.
A California high school teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after she questioned if the officials would have the support of the anti-abortion march For Life in the same way encouraged participation in the National School Walkout promoting gun control.
Rocklin high School history teacher Julianne Benzel said the punishment came after she asked her students days before the nationwide protest, if it was necessary for their school to support the protest, while remaining neutral about the annual pro-life march.
“If you’re going to allow students to get up and walk out without paying a penalty, then you are going to have to be a group of students wants to protest,” Benzel told FOX & Friends Friday morning.
But as the students started walking Wednesday, Benzel received a letter placing her on administrative leave.
The complaint, Benzel said, came from two students and one parent, and her punishment was given, without substantiation from other students. They said the government was “in principle, aimed” to her.
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But the school district said Benzel was not punished for her pro-life comments.
“The teacher was not punished or placed on leave of absence on the basis of its standpunten…De district and to clarify that the action was taken due to complaints by parents and pupils, with teacher communication rondom…de student-led remembrance activities,” district spokesperson Diana Capra said in a statement.
But not everyone in the class complained about the discussion. Rocklin student Nick Wade, who chose not to walk out, in consultation with the teacher.
“When we go to the school and say something like ‘I want to walk, perhaps, the right to abortion,’ then you know that they probably wouldn’t let us, because that is more of a conservative pressure,” Wade said.
The history teacher said she asked students if they knew about the walkout the week before and after most of its 120 students said that they had not, she gave a brief overview of adding that they should do their own research and discuss with their parents. Benzel said she asked the students if there was a double standard, give the example: If it is an anti-abortion walkout, would their school to support?
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Benzel said that she hopes that the walkout day requires a larger conversation throughout the country, not only about the Second Amendment of the rights, but also the First Amendment free speech rights for all Americans.
Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke