We need more student demonstrations like this:
About 10 Morton West High School students suspended over an anti-war protest at the school last week returned to the Berwyn school today to demand they be allowed back in classes.
The kids were accompanied by about 20 parents and anti-war activists at a press conference in front of Morton West. About 25 students were suspended and face expulsions after staging a protest against the Iraq war in the school cafeteria last Thursday.
Arthur Silber nails it:
Given the prevailing views and values of our culture, and of the political class and most of the media, what these high school students were trying to do is insubordination. This kind of insubordination is just about our only hope at this point. The U.S. has unleashed a genocide in Iraq. Just how often do you see that particular, monstrously criminal fact discussed by anyone, anywhere -- including on many blogs? And how many people, aside from these students and a few of us nutjobs, promote peace? Not many at all, especially since the ruling class now prepares for the next phase of the neverending war.
This kind of demonstration would be a lot more common if we had a no-exceptions draft.
As it is, though, "we" are not fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq; only "they" are. "They," for the most part, are other people's children, kids who go to other schools. The students who organized and attended this demonstration probably aren't at risk of heading off for a holiday in sunny Fallujah anytime soon; rather, they are people who see that there should be no difference between "they" and "we." If some 18 year olds are dying in Mr. Bush's war, then all 18 year olds should be involved.
It's only too predictable, then, that the school's reaction to this expression of generational solidarity should be to try to divide the demonstrators by handing out unequal punishments to those involved:
[S]tudents who play varsity athletics or have higher grade-point averages were given less stringent penalties for the demonstration last Thursday.
Sure: let's make sure the lower social orders--the cannon fodder, as it were--are severely punished for demonstrating for peace, while those woolly-headed liberal elites just get a slap on the wrist. That'll ensure that the Millennium Generation never unites to oppose the wars they're being killed in.