A group of second grade students at a New Bedford, Mass., school recently gave up their recess time to participate in a Ferguson protest, but some parents are upset over the act.
The founder and executive director of Alma Del Mar Charter School, Will Gardner, said that the protest wasn’t prompted by any teacher and that the 7- and 8-year-olds chose to do the protest following a lesson on citizenship and the First Amendment. Gardner said throughout the course of the lesson, the shooting death of Michael Brown was brought up.
“We discourage our teachers from sharing their own political and religious views with their scholars,” Gardner said. “We certainly want our scholars to engage in activities that help them to understand what it means to be citizens and what it means to be a democracy.”
But not all parents are buying it.
“I don’t think 7-year-olds can come up with the idea to go out and protest on the street,” said George Borden, whose daughter was among the group of protesters, and also happens to be a police officer.
“They couldn’t do anything that would be anti-police or anti-any particular people. The scholars agreed to that and they asked the principal for permission as well,” Gardner added.
Nonetheless, Borden found the act and the way his daughter responded to it to be extremely upsetting.
“The first thing she said to me when she got in my car was, ‘Daddy, do you shoot people?’”