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Spotlight on New Prague as pro-gun student is escorted off campus during protest

The school says the reason was because he violated school policy.
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What's happening?

A video of a pro-gun rights protester being escorted off the property at a Minnesota school during Wednesday's National Walkout has gone viral.

The video shared on Facebook by Kenny MacDonald shows New Prague High School senior Andy Dalsin being asked to leave school property unless he gave up a sign saying "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

As of Friday morning, it has been viewed more than 4.7 million times and has attracted attention from national media, including Fox News and The Daily Signal.

Speaking to KSTP, Dalsin said: "I came out here with a poster trying to make a difference."

"I didn't try and cause a ruckus, but I was seen by the principal [Lonnie Seifert] and he came and we had our exchange." 

Related:

– Here are all the schools that walked out on Wednesday.

School says he violated policy

The decision to remove Dalsin's sign from the protest came because the school had a policy where signs had to be approved 24 hours in advance of Wednesday's protest, in which students from more than 75 schools across the state staged walkouts in protest of the Florida killing.

In a statement on its site, New Prague Area Schools said:

The District has a policy that such items must be submitted to and reviewed by school administration at least 24-hours in advance. In compliance with the District’s policy "... to protect the exercise of students' and employees' free speech rights, [while] taking into consideration the educational objectives and responsibilities of the School District," the sign was moved to non-school grounds. The District has an obligation to enforce this policy without regard to political viewpoint.

It adds that Dalsin wasn't disciplined and law enforcement was not involved with any of the 100 students who protested.

The Facebook post itself notes that other signs held up during the protest included ones saying "Arm Our Teachers," which has been the popular suggested solution among 2nd Amendment protectors since the Florida shooting.

But Dalsin wasn't happy with the school's explanation, saying there had been other students holding up signs who didn't have to submit them for review 24 hours earlier.

The school's statement concluded: "New Prague Area Schools fully respects and recognizes that students have free speech rights. Those rights, however, are to be balanced against the District’s responsibility to maintain a school environment focused on education."

You can find more on its free speech policy here.

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