Planned 'protest' walk-out raises concerns for one TPS parent

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Jeremy Toney says he's all for students having their voices heard, but when it comes to them protesting he has some concerns.

"How many other students are participating in a protest around the United States that don't know what it is, what it means to protest?," said Toney. "What are they protesting?"

The Start High School parent's worry stems from news of a planned walk-out Wednesday by students across the country.

It's a move designed to honor the 17 people killed in the deadly Florida school shooting and call for changes to the nation's gun laws.

"To offer it up as a 'peaceful protest' you're now telling students—you're kind of opening the door for students to participate in protests against many, many other things," said Toney.

Toney says he would rather see Toledo Public Schools dedicate time set aside for the walk-out toward conflict education as he feels it takes away from valuable class time.

"While we're talking only about 30 minutes' worth their time, that's still 30 minutes that they could have spent educating my child in that particular area or whatever class they were supposed to be in," said Toney.

For TPS leaders a walk-out serves as one of the many ways students can express themselves.

"As you see with these tragedies in the schools, some of the most effective ways to get adults to listen is for students to take that initiative and take that on themselves," said Board of Education President Polly Taylor-Gerken.

As for Toney, he says offering a protest, even if peaceful, is setting some students up to blindly take part in politics they know nothing about.

"Once you participate in a protest that you didn't understand anyways, how likely are you to participate in another protest that you don't understand?," said Toney.