Mayor de Blasio reiterated his support for students who plan to walk out of schools in support of gun control next month — and said the city would offer lesson plans on the subject.
“These high school students are doing something very commendable and very powerful. We are going to do lesson plans around this issue leading up to that day,” de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Friday. “We are going to make sure that there’s a real educational impact. We are going to make sure that whatever happens is done in a safe and orderly fashion.”
But that prompted a question about how Hizzoner — who has called for gun control legislation himself — would avoid “indoctrination” of students with his own political positions on the subject, or those of their teacher. De Blasio said the Department of Education has always worked to “present all sides in different historical issues and current events.”
“I certainly wouldn’t want any individuals’ viewpoint leading the discussion, my own included,” de Blasio said. “But I think it is an important moment for young people to debate and to reflect and to think about the world that they want to create.”
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The Education Department said it’d providing schools with “guidance” on the subject.
“We’ll be giving schools guidance on facilitating thoughtful conversations about civics and current events, and providing students with an opportunity to have a respectful dialogue,” DOE spokeswoman Toya Holness said.
As for the walk-out, de Blasio said he encouraged parents to “weigh in” on whether they were “comfortable with a young person walking out.”
“It is supposed to be for 17 minutes. We expect the school day before and after to proceed,” he said.
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For younger kids, he said the city is working on a plan to allow middle and elementary schoolers to participate in some way “within the context of the building.”
“You know, to gather in the building for the memorial to the 17 young people lost, 17 people lost I should say,” he said. “And again that may be silent, that may be with young people speaking, that’s all being worked through.”
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