Two wrongs don’t make a right

Yes, I’ll admit the title is a bit cliche. But I have a right to be cliche; Don’t I? Well I think I do, don’t we all have a right to do whatever we want? Isn’t that what America is all about? Well the short and long answers are both the same; No.

Students in Ferndale and across the nation walked out of school on Friday in protest of the Iraq War. Was it within their rights to speak out against the war? I say yes. Was it within their rights to break school rules to do it? That answer is a bit fuzzy, since it is a school rule they broke, not a law.

Ferndale Principal Dawn Fairchild said the students were exercising their civil liberties, but they were warned there would be repercussions. Leaving class without authorization gets a student Saturday school, Fairchild said.

“We’re just being consistent with what we would do in any other situation,” she said.

Herald: Ferndale and Windward students leave school to protest Iraq War.

I commend the principal for separating the student’s civil liberties from the act of breaking the school rules. In this nation they have the right to speak and assemble as they see fit, but they don’t have the right to break rules in exercising their civil liberties. It is a wrong to walkout of school; it is not a right.

In Olympia there are regular demonstrations against the port being used to support the the war in Iraq. Do the participants have the right to assemble and speak out against the war? You betcha they do! They have a right in this nation to assemble, speak, chant, wave signs and yell until the cows come home and even beyond that. But they don’t have a right to break laws any more than the student in Ferndale had a right to break school rules. Civil disobedience is not a right, it is wrong.

Civil disobedience is wrong even if you are prepared to suffer the consequences, whether it’s criminal prosecution in Olympia or Saturday school in Ferndale.  Wrong is wrong, it is not a right.  Take heart though, if you are one of the walkout students.   YAWR the organizer of the event,  will send a peace version of Guito to blackmail convince your school  administrators that wrong is right, i.e. doing wrong is a civil right.

If you or any other students face discipline for walking out of school, please contact us immediately.  We can mobilize hundreds of antiwar activists to protest your school authorities with emails and phone calls to protect your right to participate in this act of mass civil disobedience.  Please forward this email to any students who may have faced any discipline.

Youth Against War and Racism

The irony of both these situation is that the news and public interest will follow the bad behavior rather than the message of their protest.

3 Comments

  1. wally (Post author)

    Let me hit the high points.

    Was it within their rights to speak out against the war? I say yes.

    And

    It is a wrong to walkout of school

    See, I agree with their right to speak their mind, just not when they are supposed to be in school.

    And Evan, as to the rest of your comment; I can only say that the situations you described are not the most desirable. And often undesirable is necessary.

  2. Poindexter P. Parkenfarker

    I don’t think that Wally is condemning it, and I say good for them in exercising their right to freely assemble, even if some of us disagree.
    But there are consequenses to breaking the rules, and I would be disappointed in any administrator not equally enforcing the rules. If they protest War, Abortion, Voter Age, Price of Gas, or just skipping school to skip school, they should cheerfully accept the punishment. By the way Evan, did you ever read my source materials for my claims about General Giap?

  3. Evan Knappenberger

    War is wrong; Arming death squads to destroy Iraq is wrong; stop-lossing the army and extending their tours is wrong; turning a blind eye to 5 million Iraqi refugees and 1 million Iraqi deaths while condemning student walk-outs is wrong.

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