REPORT: One of the nation’s biggest school systems will let students take time off to protest

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One of the nation’s largest school districts will allow students time off to participate in protests, a novel policy that proponents argue is the only way to handle a wave of student activism roiling the nation.

Starting Jan. 27, Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia will permit students in seventh through 12th grades one excused absence each school year for loosely defined “civic engagement activities,” school system spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. Such activities might include marches, sit-ins or trips to Richmond to lobby legislators, said Fairfax School Board member Ryan McElveen, who introduced the policy.

The article goes on to state the following:

Fairfax Schools — whose approximately 188,000 students make it among the dozen largest school systems in the United States, and the biggest in Virginia — is probably the first district in the nation to adopt this kind of rule, said experts who have studied student activism. When McElveen searched for model policies in the months before debuting his own, he could not find one.

“I think we’re setting the stage for the rest of the nation with this. It’s a dawning of a new day in student activism, and school systems everywhere are going to have to be responsive to it,” McElveen stated.

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