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Metzler's folly: Some protests allowed at Timberlane

April 15. 2018 1:45AM

Whether or not you are allowed to protest at Timberlane Regional High School seems to depend on whether Superintendent Earl Metzler agrees with you.

Last month, when students walked out of class over gun violence in schools, Metzler let them gather in the school parking lot, describing the walkout as "more of a tribute than a protest."

But when 15 to 20 students and parents rallied outside Metzler's office last week against possible staff cuts at the school, Metzler would have none of it. He ordered them off the property and had them move their cars out of the school parking lot next door.

District voters defeated the proposed $72.8 million budget, so the $71.9 million default budget kicked in. Metzler says he may have to cut up to 50 staff positions.

That seems like an overreaction to a small difference in funding, and students and parents are upset. So they made some signs supporting school staff, and stood outside the school administrative offices on Wednesday evening.

Metzler says he was concerned about public safety. How are 20 people holding signs a threat to public safety?

He says that if the protesters had notified his office ahead of time, he would have assisted. But since when do protesters have to ask permission to protest?

Metzler's double standard shows just how pointless the gun control walkouts really were. Protesting with permission has no meaning.

Metzler was happy to help students stage a political protest, "more of a tribute," really. But his thin skin sensed a threat when his office is the target of criticism.

He can't have it both ways. He cannot pick and choose which protests are allowed on school property. Metzler allowed a gun control protest on school property, when students were supposed to be in class, no less. He cannot now claim that school property is off limits for political demonstrations.

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