Although the specifics of this are arguably problematic, involvement in the democratic system (through protest or amy other way) is an important educational experience. People *should* care.
Edit: IMO, this shouldn't be an everyday occurrence. To allow students to protest, it would need to be a relevant protest from the perspective of schools and students (such as school shootings).
Are they supporting the bipartisan background check bill?
My high school did something similar with this when the schools in our area protested a bill that was slashing teachers' wages. I think a lot of students only protested because the teachers stopped running clubs in response, but that's beside the point. Over half the school walked out, and during lunch almost everyone was outside protesting. The school never formally endorsed it, and they took attendance at the beginning of each class today to track who was coming and going, but nobody got in trouble and the school asked for a police officer who had excellent standing with the students to come watch us. I remember going outside during lunch and holding signs with my friends, and the coolest thing was when an 18-wheeler stopped in front of the school to lay on the horn. Everyone cheered, we all had fun, I don't think the bill passed after all, it was great.
Back then, it seemed like such a cool and fun way to express our rights. But now that I'm reading this, it's nothing in comparison. These aren't kids protesting to get out of class, they're driving hundreds of miles because their friends are dead. They're going out there knowing full well that armed adults are going to say they're overreacting right after they finished burying their classmates.
Everyone in this comment thread seems to not understand how excused absences work. Y'all, I got excused absences for every political thing I did in high school, from being a page at the state senate or participating in a big voter drive. They did not care what side of the party line it was on, just that I was civically involved. Usually one of my professors would make me write up a little essay about why it was an educational experience and I'd be on my merry way.
I'm guessing in this instance enough students were going to skip school anyway that it was easier to release a blanket statement than make it a case-by-case thing. This happens all the time, it is really not a big deal.
One of the biggest school shootings happens in our state and kids in the area want to show their support...the super would be a shithead if he *didn’t* excuse absences. In our local paper: “I’m not endorsing the rally, I’m endorsing our students' right to participate in a rally if they so choose...It’s a beautiful thing, as someone who’s a former U.S. history and government teacher, to watch this happening...It’s kind of an organic group of kids who are saying ‘enough is enough’” Right on, Rocky!
Is the absence excused if they go to protest AGAINST changing the gun laws?
Good, we need more people who are active in our democracy, and they should really make election day a national holiday too, at least for the Presidential election years