by Liam Kennedy ’19
MCPS students who attend an organized protest during the school day may have their absences excused thanks to a plan proposed by the Board of Education’s Policy Management Committee. According to the proposal, students will receive an excused absence if they obtain permission from the principal of the school, the parent, and the organization that is running the event. This process ensures that students do not abuse this policy in order to obtain free unexcused absences. A student will be able to take three days off of school per year for civic engagement.
The plan, which passed a preliminary vote on September 11, came after students across the county took part in walkouts and rallies in February in response to the fatal mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. After a 30-day waiting period, they will vote once again on the plan, during which the Board will listen to public input on the proposal. If the Board votes to pass the amendment, it will allow students to become more politically active without worrying about the consequences on their transcripts.