Protests have become commonplace on college campuses, and they can happen for almost any reason. Now one county in Virginia seems intent on bringing this same tired spirit to middle schools and high schools.

Fairfax County public schools will soon allow students a day of absence to attend protests.

NBC News in Washington, DC reports:

Fairfax Co. Schools to Allow Excused Absence for Protests

Students at Virginia’s largest school district will soon be able to take a day off every year to participate in protests.

Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia has adopted the policy for students in seventh through 12th grades, NBC4’s news partners at WTOP report. Students will get an extra excused absence every year for “civic engagement activities.”

Those activities can include marches, meeting with local leaders or other types of involvement in the community.

This Associated Press report via NBC News makes it clear that this is a test run for a national policy:

Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia plans to start allowing the absences Jan. 27, 2020, news outlets reported. The district is the largest school system in the state.

Students in seventh through 12th grades can use the day for “civic engagement activities” such as attending marches or meeting with lawmakers, according to district spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.

The new policy was introduced by Fairfax School Board member Ryan McElveen, according to The Washington Post. He says the rule may be the first of its kind in the U.S.

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

Anyone want to guess how long it will take before there is a protest to demand more protest days? In the short run, the images in the tweets below make it pretty clear that the top issue will be climate change. My guess is that gun control will be the runner-up.

Here’s a video report from FOX 5 in DC:

It’s no coincidence that this is happening in Virginia, where Democrats recently took control and are simultaneously making a hard push for new gun control policies.

Gun rights supporters in Fairfax County might want to put this new approach to the test by organizing a student protest in favor of the Second Amendment. Let’s see how serious liberals are about getting children involved in public policy debates.

Featured image via FOX 5 DC video.


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