A California high-school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after questioning whether political bias played a role in her employer’s support for the nationwide school walkout in favor of gun control.
Julianne Benzel, a history teacher in Rocklin, Calif., told the local CBS affiliate that she felt it was important to discuss the way in which politics informs organized protest in the days leading up to the pro-gun-control walkout.
“We had a dialogue in class about it on Thursday and Friday. And today I received the call. So I am aghast,” Benzel said.
Benzel explained that she did not discourage students from attending the gun-control walkout, which was organized by a subsidiary of the liberal Women’s March, to both commemorate the one-month anniversary of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla. and call for stricter gun-control laws.
“And so 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 — [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?”