By Lemor Abrams

ROCKLIN (CBS13) — A Rocklin High School teacher is on paid administrative leave over her views about the national school walk out. The teacher says all she did was open up a debate about the politics of the protest in her classroom.

Mrs. Benzel teaches history at Rocklin High School.

She says it was only appropriate to talk to her class about the politics of organized protests, ahead of the school walkout.
But she says the school disagreed with her views and told her to stay home Wednesday morning.

“We had a dialogue in class about it in Thursday and Friday. And today I received the call. So I am aghast,” said Julianne Benzel.

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Benzel says she never discouraged her students from participating in the national school walk out, but she did question whether it’s appropriate for a school to support a protest against gun violence if they’re not willing to support all protests.

“And so 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?” she said.

She says the administration didn’t talk to her about her lecture, last week.

But while thousands of students walked out of class, Mrs. Benzel received a letter from her human resources department, informing her she’s being placed on paid administrative leave.

“I didn’t get any backlash from my students. All my students totally understood that there could not be a double standard,” she said.

Including Nick Wade, who didn’t walk out.

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“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. 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,” said Wade.

The Rocklin School District won’t say whether his teacher is in trouble, because of that classroom debate.

A spokeswoman provided a statement reading in part:

“A Rocklin High School teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave due to several complaints from parents and students involving the teacher’s communications regarding today’s student-led civic engagement activities.”

For now, Benzel hopes the national student walkout prompts a bigger conversation, not just about second amendment gun rights, but first amendment free speech.

“If you’re going to allow students to walk up and get out of class without penalty then you have to allow any group of students that wants to protest,” she said.

Benzel says she has retained legal counsel and plans to sit down with school administrators, Thursday morning.

Comments (67)
  1. Typical leftists. You are now only allowed to think pre-approved thoughts If they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

  2. Fred Stojak says:

    Critical thinking s not allowed in the liberal schools.

  3. Time to sue the living daylights out of the school district. California is becoming more like the Soviet Union every day. I really hope this state DOES secede to form some communist “utopia.” I will leave and take my friends with me… and return with the army when Trump does what Lincoln did 157 years ago.

  4. She asked kids to think on theirs own, burn her!

  5. Chris Sky says:

    it’s not really a “protest” when it’s Government sponsored, being forced upon children and public sector workers, in GOVERNMENT schools… on government allotted school time…. that’s more like SCRIPTED, FORCED, PROPAGANDA.

  6. BG says:

    I’m pro-choice and I agree with her. No way would a walk-out be allowed for a pro-life rally (nor should it be allowed for either pro-choice OR pro-life. At least the gun debate has is apropos to school shootings. But both anti-gun and pro-gun walkouts should be allowed. Yet you know that pro-gun protests would never be allowed for those who think teachers should be armed.

    We can’t continue to hold double standards.

  7. subdjoe says:

    Now, tell us again how the schools aren’t indoctrinating kids with leftist ideology.

  8. Brian Mossie says:

    Adults politicizing children in the public school system is wrong on so many levels and it’s one of the many reasons why California’s public school system may actually be harming children. My wife and I often say that if we still had school age children, they would not be enrolled in the public school system. California is particularly awful and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that anyone, including teachers, who speak out against the left-wing indoctrination policies of administrators and conforming teachers will be punished by this corrupt system.

  9. The whole forced “school walkout” nonsense is pure leftist propaganda. Punish the non-leftists who don’t follow. Department of Education should be defunded.

  10. Good for her. Thank god there are some teachers willing and able to actually think and encourage thought.

  11. Dale Sawyers says:

    I am a 20 year high school social science teacher in SoCal and you are my hero!!!! Way to point out admin double standards!!!! Anyone who even suggests that there two sets of rules are the absolute enemy who must be discredited and destroyed. Keep up the fight in the face of admin bullying, threats, and efforts to intimidate!!!!!

  12. Wait here. I understand where this teacher was coming from but kids aren’t in fear for their lives because someone may come into their classroom and make them have an abortion. I have so many words in my head, I want to explode. The bottom line is that this is 1) confusing people–people on the left and on the right, think she’s “on their team” 2) It’s false equivalency (as much as I’m getting tired of that term, it is what it is.) 3) She is dangerously taking away attention from a HUGE national issue which is a lack of gun control in our country.
    I understand I may get attacked here. And that’s okay.

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