MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Eighteen Maryland leaders have signed a letter asking the Montgomery County Board of Education to reconsider a policy that would allow students up to three excused absences per year to protest or take part in other civic engagement activities.

The policy, introduced in September 2018 and tabled in January, would allow students up to three excused absences each school year for civic engagement activities, including protests, the letter said.

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The lawmakers are urging the board to take up the policy change again, saying civic engagement “supplements, rather than impedes, [students’] classroom studies.”

READ: Montgomery County Leaders Urge Board of Education to Study Its Policy on Students’ Civic Engagement

“In the wake of the recent wave of climate protests, we hope the Board will reopen its examination into this important topic,” the letter reads.

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Under the initial proposal, a student’s parent, principal and a sponsoring organization would have to sign off on the excused absence.

State Delegate Vaughn Stewart said on Twitter he organized the effort to support students’ voices.

“MoCo students are speaking up and speaking out. They’re fighting for a better world. And they deserve our support,” he wrote.

A district spokesperson said the board has received the letter and will review it to see what changes, if any, may be considered. The committee tasked with reviewing it is scheduled to meet next in January.

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The lawmakers who signed the letter include:

  • Councilmember Evan Glass
  • Councilmember Tom Hucker
  • Councilmember Will Jawando
  • Councilmember Hans Riemer
  • Senator Susan Lee
  • Senator Will Smith
  • Delegate Gabriel Acevero
  • Delegate Lorig Charkoudian
  • Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield
  • Delegate Bonnie Cullison
  • Delegate Ariana Kelly
  • Delegate David Moon
  • Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr
  • Delegate Kirill Reznik
  • Delegate Emily Shetty
  • Delegate Jared Solomon
  • Delegate Vaughn Stewart
  • Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins