Conservatives Are Skipping School to Protest Abortion, LGBT Rights and Sex Ed

On April 20, tens of thousands of students from around the country walked out of their classrooms to demand action on gun reform from lawmakers. The event, held on the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, replicated the March for Our Lives, which took place one month earlier in response to the Parkland shooting.

Conservatives don’t care too much about school shootings, though. What they deem as the real “dangers” in public schools are far more mundane — but they’re walking out to protest them, anyway.

Abortion

Abortion is already massively restricted in the United States, but that didn’t stop the anti-abortion movement from demanding that they be allowed to hold their own “walk out” on April 11 to protest pregnancy termination rights — and their favorite archenemy: Planned Parenthood .

According to conservative news sources, “hundreds” of schools and student groups organized their own protests, then chastised schools for allegedly not giving them the same accommodations as the protests against school shootings. Anti-abortion activists also criticized the media, who they accused of “blacking out” the event with a lack of coverage

Sex ed

The “Pro-Life Walkout” largely failed, but that didn’t stop the religious right from moving straight to the next big boogeyman: sex ed. Fearful of schools that are teaching age-appropriate comprehensive sex education — programs that promote the ideas of consent, relationship building, anti-bullying and respect — a batch of socially conservative moms urged a school-day boycott on April 23.

The Washington Times reports:

Elizabeth Johnston, a social conservative activist who blogs under the name Activist Mommy, is one of the protest’s organizers. She said most parents wouldn’t ‘stand for the kind of graphic, gender-bending sex ed’ that schools are teaching. “Most parents do not know this is taking place in schools,” Ms. Johnston said. “The wool is completely being pulled over their eyes, and sometimes when parents catch on and start inquiring, bureaucrats are using deceptive means of not informing them what is being taught.”

The boycott was supported by groups like Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel and other socially conservative religious state-based organizations. And the event mostly fizzled, probably because many parents with these views likely have their children in religious private schools — or, like Activist Mommy, homeschool their crew.

Day of Silence

While some schools participated in the annual National Day of Silence activism — in which people “take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school”–  on April 27, the American Family Association urged its supporters to pull their kids out of school.

“Please join the national effort to restore to public education a proper understanding of the role of government-subsidized schools,” AFA urged backers. “You can actively oppose this hijacking of the classroom for political purposes and help de-politicize the learning environment by keeping your child out of school if your child’s school participates, promotes or allows ‘Day of Silence’ activities.”

Unsurprisingly, one of the ”Day of Silence Walkout” promoters is Activist Mommy — and other participants of the sex ed walkout have joined her.

In fact, with so many walkout days focused on a variety of socially conservative issues — not a single one of which will actually cause physical harm or death to a child while he or she is sitting in a school desk –  it’s hard to understand why the religious right bothers to send their children to public schools at all.

It must be frightening to live in a world where bullets aren’t anything to fear, and the real danger is diversity of viewpoints and an emphasis on fact-based education.

Photo Credit: Anna Levinzon/Flickr

46 comments

Deborah W
Deborah W21 days ago

Far from the only group-herds gathering to protest -- on campuses, in front of state and federal institutions, and in smaller numbers local group-herds now using the same methods. At least this one's silent.

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Karen H
Karen H21 days ago

They want to stop abortion, but evidently have no clue that it can be curtailed by providing comprehensive sex education and access to free or affordable birth control.

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Karen Swenson
Karen Swenson22 days ago

These Fools want children to protest against abortion, but at the same time don't want children to know about Sex and how to prevent an Abortion. That's right you cowards, get your 5yr old holding a sign, she/ he knows nothing about and put them in the line of a bullet or bomb from one of your own warped fanatics. They should be arrested for child abuse!. What's your next move--taking them into an Alt Right rally with the KKK, forcing them to hold signs, saying--"They're good people too."

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Freya H
Freya H22 days ago

Forcing small children to protest against something they don't understand smacks of child abuse. Students have the right to protest, but they should do so of their own volition.

Besides, the "pro-life" crusade is anything but. They fight like Rottweilers to "protect" fetuses and embryos, but are strangely absent from helping those who have already been born. When they say "Everybody who supports abortion has already been born," I say, "Everybody who supports cutting food stamps already has enough to eat."

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Winn A
Winn A22 days ago

Keep your religion to yourself, Please!

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Tom M
Tom M23 days ago

Religion is destroying this country. This is but one example.

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Paul Carter
Paul Carter23 days ago

All of these protests are about one thing - SEX. So why do extreme conservatives fear or dislike anyone knowing about it, controlling it, or being different in orientation? I suspect they are the ones with a problem and need to hide that even from themselves.

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Anne M
Anne M23 days ago

Kid holding the abortion sign looks like he’s 5 .. - WTH is a child that age, doing with such a sign ?? - A bit on the young side,, don’t you think ?? - Give him a soccer ball or a tricycle,, and let him be a kid... - Why mess with his young mind with thoughts of ABORTION... - Unbelievable !!

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pam w
pam w23 days ago

Once the treasonous groper is nullified....these people will have far less ''face time." It's only the ''fundies'' whose votes are vital to the GOP who care about these things. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

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Alea C
Alea C23 days ago

I agree with the gun protests but the religious crap is just that. Religious crap.

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