Students Threatened With Suspension Over Corbett Protest

Lancaster County students say they opposed governor's speech.

Lefty blog Think Progress reports that Lancaster County high school students were threatened with suspension to curtail protests during a visit last week by Gov. Tom Corbett.

When Corbett held a press conference at JP McCaskey (High School) last week touting a small chunk of funding for school resource officers, students who planned to protest Corbett’s spending priorities say they were intimidated by their school administrators into backing out.

“As soon as they found out that we were going to protest they said that we were not allowed to come and that we did not have the permission anymore,” said Brittani Carr, 17.

Carr and several fellow students had planned to hold up signs, with messages about Corbett’s push to fund other priorities like the now-invalidated voter ID law, prisons, and fracking, while making drastic cuts to education. One read, “diplomas not handcuffs.” Another said, “Corbett cut public education funding while increasing prison funding. Don’t be fooled.”

Carr and DeSlippe were told that if they protested, they would be uninvited from Corbett’s remarks and would face consequences for cutting class, including suspension.

A district spokeswoman told Think Progress that Superintendent Pedro Rivera “has directed leadership to be more mindful of our socially conscious student body to express their views on important social and political issues.”