Should universities actively help student activists?

Frankly, no. They should not stand in the way, but to push agendas for any side on any issue? Again, no. Predictably, the left disagrees

The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State University pursue top students like Mallory Harris, Thomas Moore and Marisa Pyle because they expect them to tackle the hard problems and make the world a better place.

And these three students, all of whom attend UGA, are taking on a challenge their elders haven’t been able to solve — the gun violence that makes America vulnerable to school shootings like the deadly one in Parkland, Fla.

Well, the fact is this, there are very, very few school shootings in America. Despite the rhetoric of the Cult of Gun Control

Well, one report claims that they’re not, and since this is from left-leaning NPR, perhaps anti-gunners won’t dismiss it so easily.

The Parkland shooting last month has energized student activists, who are angry and frustrated over gun violence. But it’s also contributed to the impression that school shootings are a growing epidemic in America.

In truth, they’re not.

“Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s.

Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel crunched the numbers, and the results should come as a relief to parents.

First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that’s not the case in schools. There’s an average of about one a year — in a country with more than 100,000 schools.

“There were more back in the ’90s than in recent years,” says Fox. “For example, in one school year — 1997-98 — there were four multiple-victim shootings in schools.”

Second, the overall number of gunshot victims at schools is also down. According to Fox’s numbers, back in the 1992-93 school year, about 0.55 students per million were shot and killed; in 2014-15, that rate was closer to 0.15 per million.

Now, back to the call for universities to actively push the gun control agenda

So far, neither the UGA students nor like-minded peers at Tech or GSU have gotten even a crumb of official support for their efforts from their campuses or the Board of Regents.

Many of the nation’s top universities applauded the March 14 national school walkout, in which close to a million students walked out of classes for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students and staff killed at Majory Stoneman Douglas High a month earlier in a six-minute shooting rampage.

But there’s been only silence from Georgia’s public campuses, although faculty and students have risen in defense of the high school activists. Many college students across Georgia attended and helped organize rallies around the state, including Harris, Moore and Pyle.

No one is stopping these students. But that, it seems is not enough. Now they are demanding universities push their causes. The problem is that the university is not there to push anyone, or even everyone’s agenda. But, that escapes the activists

We have deeply benefited from the quality of education offered by UGA, and feel compelled to speak out against the university’s silence.

We wish to continue moving Georgia schools forward and recognize their current inaction will only serve to discourage the future generation of thinkers, leaders, and changemakers from pursuing degrees at our schools.

Again, this is not the job of a university. But, the activists are playing the victims, of course

Students are facing severe punishment for the exercise of their constitutional rights. Across the nation, high school students have been given detentions, and suspended, some as close as in Cobb County Schools. At the Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga., the administration gave a student a five-day suspension for participating in a walkout.

These disproportionate reactions, stemming from the political nature of these protests, aim to discourage students from using their voices and standing up for what they believe in, and impress upon them that their safety is less important than the potential discomfort of administrators. Furthermore, they fear that participation in these events, which will prepare them to become campus leaders, will negatively impact their college admissions prospects.

We ask that UGA release a statement affirming its support of civil disobedience (what a particularly exemplary Georgian would refer to as “Good Trouble”). We do not ask that UGA take a side on this issue, but merely voice their support for the right of students to free speech in the form of nonviolent protest. We wish for UGA to reassure all potential students that admissions will disregard unjust disciplinary consequences connected to these walkouts and any other peaceful activism that that they wish to pursue.

I wonder if these activists would be so tolerant of fellow students pushing a pro second amendment agenda? Perhaps they would, but still this is not the role of a university. The university is, in fact affirming a right to free speech and protest by not getting involved.

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