As jury deliberates in Freddie Gray death trial, Baltimore schools warn students not to protest

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“However, we need to make it clear that student walkouts, vandalism, civil disorder, and any form of violence are not acceptable under any circumstances and that students who participate in such behaviors will face consequences.”

I somehow doubt the no walkouts & civil disorder orders will stop them. I hope they realize the school(s) is something that’s going to be used by many people that will come after them and they should not vandalize the building


“However, we need to make it clear that student walkouts, vandalism, civil disorder, and any form of violence are not acceptable under any circumstances and that students who participate in such behaviors will face consequences.”

Vandalism and violence are crimes.

Civil disobedience is an acceptable and honorable form of expression that is routinely been used by peaceful, noviolent protestors: Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi - these famous figures and many others have relied on civil disobedience to force societies to receive the message.

Protests that use only polite, benign forms of expression are routinely disregarded. It is objectionable and insulting to demand that protestors only use modes of communication that can be ignored.

Moreover, the modest inconveniences of civil disobedience are typically trivial, compared with the harm inflicted upon the minorities that inspired the protest. How petty does it seem to complain about a minority population being impolite, compared with minorities being killed and beaten en masse?


Somebody finds them unacceptable, but somebody else may find them acceptable. Which person is more representative of the institutional racism that led to Freddie Gray’s death? Which person is more representative of the way forward?


They don’t want walkouts for the same reason schools discourage senior skip days; funding. If they drop below a certain percentage of students in class they lose out on money to teach them. It’s also a liability issue for students to walk out of school.

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Is the BCPD warning its officers that kettleing a bunch of students is a terrible idea?


Too late…

The type of asshole who would send that in the first place is the type of asshole that’s going to double down on it.

My first protest was actually a walk-out when a bunch of students at my middle school left school to protest the (first) Iraq war. Some redneck in a pickup truck spat tobacco juice on me as he drove by. The teachers were generally supportive, and I don’t recall the administration really having anything to say about it. I think they might have realized they’d look like idiots if they did that or something. It was a different age.


That was probably the most intelligent thing to leave his mouth.

Chew juice… ugh… I’m having flashbacks to my gas station attendant days. *Shudder*


As an outsider, which verdict would lead to riots?

Let’s ask Donald Trump!

Anyone else get the distinct impression that the ‘facilitated opportunities to express your emotions appropriately’ will be mindbogglingly condescending and out of touch?


Acquittal, since it was a murder.

Not to mention…—> over there

I wonder how many more of these killings we need in order for movements to stop asking for change from the very government that is killing them and instead make it impossible for daily life to continue until they get what they want? Only when the government is faced with an even worse alternative to the status quo (and unable to repress it) will it grant concessions, and even then that is not enough. It doesn’t go far enough, it doesn’t alter the way that power is structured, and there’s always the possibility (or inevitability) of backsliding or failing to follow through. E.g. compare the end of officially enforced segregation and the racial wealth/power gap before 1964 to de facto segregation and the preservation of that gap today, and you see where stopping at reforms gets you.

Granted, it took the systematic assassination of an entire generation of black leaders, widespread infiltration and sabotage of black liberation groups, and a concerted effort by the CIA to get cheap, hard drugs into black neighborhoods (among other things) to make the liberation movements of the '60’s go away. (Such efforts in and of themselves should serve to underscore how old the problem highlighted by the Freddy Gray case really is, which says nothing of centuries of slavery followed by white terrorism in black communities post-Reconstruction.)

A guilty verdict can act like a barometer, telling us that police aren’t totally immune, and perhaps that public pressure can lead to some convictions, but it’s not going to send change surging through the police/judicial system like some electrical current. Guilty verdicts are token concessions from a very big system, even given their inestimable importance. Systematic racism, the evils of capitalism, and the over-centralized structures of government (especially its repressive arm, the police), are root problems that need to become the focus of movements for change if they’re going to be successful in the longterm. Otherwise, these events are doomed to become part of the ceaseless churning of news cycles, small social crises that are already built into the burps and hiccups of power’s daily operations, rendered digestible as outrage-entertainment, and which come with their own steam valves to let off pressure–guilty verdicts and the age-old “reconciliation process” to “restore public faith in the police.” These cycles have for a long time been predictable cliches designed to stabilize power in moments of crisis, not to enact change.

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Yes, by all means, we should inform these young hooligans that there are right ways and wrong ways to express their rage at a system that has been brutalizing them for centuries. I suggest we invite them to tea.


Tired of the establishment conflating peaceful protest with crime.


It’s also infantilizing. White America has a loooong and ongoing history of doing that to black people. It’s as if black people are assumed to lack the rational capacity to quietly accept their second-class social status.


I think the correct response here is, “Great, since you’re part of the problem now I don’t have to worry about your lost funding when we all walk out. Especially if you’re willing to lose out on even more funding if you suspend us as punishment.”

Also, get as many parents as possible to calmly inform the school that their children will not be serving any punishment (besides suspension or expulsion) given in response to legal, peaceful protest.

And if the school tries to physically prevent students from leaving the premises, guards can be charged with assault, locked doors may be fire code violations. The goal is to make as much of a headache for those in charge as necessary without undue harm.


Civil disobedience is a crime also. MLK and Gandhi were criminals.

Put another way: it’s weird to make a distinction between “criminal” acts and “honorable” acts. Because very often the most honorable course of action is to do crime. Vandalism and militant action have been just as important as civil disobedience in advancing social progress, which is why the authorities lump them all together: they’re all threats to their power.

Well said.


People have a tendency to forget that one reason Gandhi, Mandela, King, Parks, etc. are held up as heroes for their non-violent civil disobedience is because they accepted that part of the process in breaking a current (bad) law in order to draw attention to it means you’re going to be arrested and spend time in jail.