Teacher Put On Leave After Asking If Pro-Life Walk-Out Would Be Tolerated Too

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A Rocklin, Calif., school put a teacher on leave Wednesday after she asked her class whether the school would tolerate a pro-life protest as it did a gun control protest.

Rocklin High School put history teacher Julianne Benzel on leave after she compared the nationwide walk-out for gun control to a potential walk-out opposing abortion, reported CBS13.

“I just kind of used the example which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time—a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?” Benzel told CBS13, describing her class lecture March 8 and 9.

The teacher asserts she did not discourage students from taking part in the Wednesday walk-out commemorating the one month anniversary of the Parkland massacre, but she questioned whether the school should support that protest if they do not support others.

“I feel like if we were to go to school and say something like I want to walk out maybe for abortion rights, then you know they probably wouldn’t let us because that’s more of a conservative push,” one of Benzel’s students, Nick Wade, said. “But someone wants to say let’s walk out for gun control then the school’s going to go with it because it’s more of a popular view.”

A Rocklin High School spokeswoman did not comment on whether the teacher would be punished beyond her administrative leave but told CBS13 the school had received “several complaints from parents and students.” Benzel has retained legal counsel.


Students from thousands of schools across the U.S. took part in Wednesday’s walk-out. Students from Antioch High School in Tennessee tore down an American flag and damaged a police car, according to The Goldwater.

Empower, a youth division of the Women’s March, organized many of the March 14 protests. (RELATED: Students Across America Walking Out Of Class For The Parkland One-Month Anniversary)

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Rob Shimshock