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Those who walk out on Wednesday will join a rich history of student protest []


When we think of student protests, it is most often of protests on college campuses β€” from the waves of unrest during the Vietnam War to the more recent campus clashes involving Black Lives Matter advocates and white nationalists.

But since the Civil Rights era, some of the most impactful youth protests have taken place in high schools and even junior high schools. Acts of civil disobedience by students barely into their teens have marked seminal points in historic battles over bedrock issues like segregation and gay rights, and led to landmark Supreme Court decisions.

In 1957, there were the nine African-American children who defied the governor of Arkansas and enrolled in the all-white Little Rock Central High School. In 1965, 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker’s black armband, which she wore in protest of the Vietnam War, sparked a lawsuit that ultimately gave free-speech rights to public school students. In 1968, thousands of Chicano students in East Los Angeles high schools forced a school reform movement that continues today.

[For more on this story by DAVID WASHBURN AND YUXUAN XIE, go to]

For similar stories, see National School Walkout: Do students have First Amendment rights at school? and On Getting Pushback: Advice for Young People Walking Out of School]

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