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Posted: February 23, 2018

Texas superintendent threatens suspension for students who protest gun laws

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A superintendent in a Texas school district near Houston threatened a three-day suspension for any student who walks out to protest current gun laws, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Needville Independent School District Superintendent Curtis Rhodes sent letters to parents and posted on social media that an out-of-school suspension would be enforced. Students nationwide have been protesting in the wake of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week that left 17 people -- including 14 students -- dead.

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"Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved," Rhodes wrote. "All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline."

Rhodes said notes from parents would not make a difference, The Washington Post reported.

“Respect yourself,” Rhodes wrote, “and please understand that we are here for an education and not a political protest.”

Student organizers in Florida are planning a March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington, D.C., the Chronicle reported. A National School Walkout planned by Women's March organizers is set for March 14. A walkout is also scheduled on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. 

Rhodes said the school district is sensitive to violence in schools, but stressed that the students’ focus should be on education and not political protests, the Chronicle reported.

"A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally," Rhodes wrote. "A disruption of the school will not be tolerated."

The message was originally posted on Needville High School’s Facebook page but was taken down, Time reported. Screenshots of the letter were shared via social media.

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