- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Montgomery County school district in Maryland is reportedly expected to pass a proposal letting students skip classes in order to attend political protests.

High school students will be able to take up to three excused absences a year for participating in political demonstrations, marches and other forms of “civic engagement” under the proposal that is expected to be approved by Montgomery County Public Schools in January, The Washington Post reported.

School board member Patricia O’Neill, who supports the proposal, said students shouldn’t be punished for engaging in political issues.

“We want students to be prepared to be active citizens and be the next generation of leaders and learning,” she told The Post. “Public education was established to prepare the next generation of citizens in this country, and learning doesn’t just occur in the classroom, it occurs in life experiences.”

The board approved a version of the proposal unanimously in September, which required students to first obtain parental consent, the approval of the school principal and permission from the protest organizers. It was later decided that such an extensive approval process would prohibit students from being able to participate in spontaneous walkouts, so the proposal was revised to only require parental consent, The Post reported.

The amended proposal is open for public comment until Dec. 16.

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