New York, New York; June 03, 2024—The National Association of Scholars (NAS) and the Ethics and Public Policy Center have published the Politics Out of Schools Act (POSA), drafted by Stanley Kurtz. This model state legislation seeks to discourage politically motivated mass student walkouts in public K-12 schools to ensure and protect their impartiality as institutions open to the diverse politics of all Americans.

“The common practice of excusing or even encouraging large-scale political walkouts puts public schools in the position of endorsing some causes over others,” explained NAS president Peter Wood. “Excused walkouts are thus a form of indoctrination. Political walkouts subject uncommitted students to ideological pressure from administrators, teachers, peers, and outside groups.”

The Supreme Court, in Tinker v. Des Moines, affirmed students’ right to protest at school by wearing armbands, message T-shirts and the like. Yet the Court also affirmed the right of schools to regulate for basic order and attendance, so long as ideologically based violations of the rules are disciplined no more severely than non-ideological violations.

Consistent with the Court’s opinion, POSA does three things. First, it forbids schools in a given state from issuing excused absences for political protest and lobbying. Second, it prohibits school standards, curriculum, regulations, or teacher-training materials from promoting or permitting student walkouts for political protest or lobbying. Third, it ensures that unexcused absences for political protest or lobbying are treated no differently from other instances of truancy.

“However schools treat a day of truancy—be it with detention, a brief suspension, or a mark on a student’s record—that is how political walkouts ought to be dealt with,” added David Randall, executive director of the Civics Alliance. “This law might not end all school walkouts, but it will surely make them less frequent and extensive.”

The Civics Alliance and the National Association of Scholars have maintained a decade-long commitment to warn Americans about the existence and the effects of action civics and to support policies to end its use. In 2012, we devoted an issue of Academic Questions to “the new civics”; in 2017, we published Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics; and in 2019, we published Social Justice Education in America. Our model policies to remove action civics from American education already include the Partisanship Out of Civics Act, the Classroom Learning Act, the General Education Act, and the Core Curriculum Act, and we have cataloged a great many state statutes endorsing action civics that need to be repealed.

“Student walkouts are among the more damaging effects of action civics,” explained Randall. We now conclude, as student walkouts become ever more common, and conducted for causes as vile as support of Hamas butchery, that they should be banned explicitly.”

Wood concluded, “The POSA adds one more arrow to our quiver. This bill, like our other model bills, is tailored narrowly to prevent the indoctrination of American students and, at the same time, to preserve and promote Americans’ liberties. State governments should use this legislation thoughtfully and prudently to prevent the capture of their students by activists. POSA, excellently drafted by Stanley Kurtz, achieves this aim.”

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at


If you would like more information about this issue, please email David Randall at

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