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“I don’t regret the protest because I brought a lot of people to this question” November 15, 2007

Posted by Jeff in "Reality has a well-known liberal bias", Crime and punishment at Morton West.

Morton High protesters can return to class

BY KATE N. GROSSMAN, Education Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times

Most students suspended over an anti-war protest at Morton West High School will be back in class Wednesday morning — and none will be expelled, the school superintendent said late Tuesday.

Of the 18 students suspended after a Nov. 1 sit-in at the Berwyn high school, 14 are due back today, Supt. Ben Nowakowski said in a statement. The remaining four, who Nowakowski says “bore more culpability for the disruption,” can return Friday. Many of the students were threatened with expulsion.

“I don’t regret the protest because I brought a lot of people to this question — about Iraq and what it’s doing to our country,” senior Joshua Rodriguez said. He and 10 other suspended students and their parents protested the suspensions and possible expulsions, along with the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and other peace activists, garnering national attention.

Rodriguez and others insist their protest was peaceful. But Nowakowski says the students severely disrupted the school day, forcing him to lock down classes. Nowakowski says the punishment had nothing to do clamping down on free speech.

“The incident that led to the suspensions had everything to do with disruption of the school day,” he said in the statement. “The fact is that Morton students are encouraged to think for themselves and to express their views, whatever those views may be.”

Good editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pros to the students of Morton West High School … and, yes, props even to the administration for resolving this without expulsions, considering it should never have happened in the first place. This closure is more than I can say for the administration of Wilton High School …

The students and their parents will continue the fight to have suspensions expunged from their records.
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