CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Civil Liberties Union has criticized a Long Island school district for suspending students who walked out of class to protest budget cuts.

The NYCLU said in a letter last week to the Central Islip district that the students were exercising their constitutional rights and “should be praised for their idealism.”

Superintendent Craig Carr told Newsday he had not yet received the letter and declined to comment.

Hundreds of students at Ralph G. Reed Middle School walked out of school on April 1 to demonstrate in front of the district’s administration offices.

The NYCLU said it hoped the district would expunge the suspension from the students’ records.

It said the suspension sent a message that free speech is unimportant.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. KPMc says:

    Children don’t vote… their parents do. It is an issue for adults.

    Still, if they were so concerned the students could have organized a protest after hours but they chose to cut class instead. This was just another excuse to cut class and they got what they deserved but don’t tell that to the ACLU. They can’t comprehend that.

    You can exercise your right to free speech without disrupting those that want to learn or breaking rules but that would take thought and consideration. Attributes lacking in most teens.

  2. HARLEM GOING H.A.M. says:


  3. sigusmunt Kreusz says:

    While I think the school is behaving unconscionably, the presence in a student’s disciplinary record of a suspension for having left school to protest the cutting of school budgets will probably be looked on as a “red badge of courage” by many colleges.
    I would advise those students so honored to write about the experience and to use it as material when applying to a college. Any school that then sees them as a threat; they wouldn’t want to go to anyway.

Leave a Reply