USC proposes new protest policy

USC is working on creating a student activism policy to regulate whether students can leave school and be excused to attend social protests. 

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Lucia

Junior Adrienne Gaylord and Sophomore Will Sedo attended the climate strike despite SPA's repercussions.

Earlier this school year, on Sept. 20, a protest regarding the internationally eminent issue of climate change was held. While 8,000 people marched to the capitol in Minnesota, approximately 1.2 million youth attended climate strikes across the country that day. Despite the protest’s national popularity, SPA’s attendance policy—students cannot go to after school activities if they miss a portion of the school day—was enforced. 

“There was an issue with the climate strike where a lot of students were expecting that they were going to receive excused absences like all other past protests,” said USC co-vice president Rashmu Raveendran. “However, the day before the protest, the administration said that they wouldn’t be able to attend their after-school activities. Due to this, a lot of students had to drop out of going to the protest.”

The school administration made an exception to the usual attendance policy for that protest, but that was not the case for the Climate strike. ”

A big issue that the students felt was that this information was told to them the day before the protest; many people had to cancel going to the protest due to an inflexible commitment, like a sports game or practice, they had after school. 

The last March for Our Lives protest, in April of 2018, was attended by a significantly large population of SPA’s student body—over half of the student population. The school administration made an exception to the usual attendance policy for that protest, but that was not the case for the Climate strike. 

“Essentially, there was a lack of communication and a lot of students felt it was unfair because the March for our Lives protest was completely excused while the climate strike was not,” said Raveendran. 

Due to this lack of continuity with the administration, USC is working on creating a student activism policy to regulate whether students can leave school and be excused to attend social protests. 

“Right now, we’re writing up a new policy that excuses students in an acknowledged absence to all protests so that way students can go to protests and support what they want while still being able to attend after school activities. We’ve been finishing that up,” said Raveendran. “The students thought it was unfair since the administration was deciding which protests were important or not. USC is working to make sure all protests are supported nd students can attend whichever protests they want.”