Usually when the media talks about high school kids at the Wisconsin Capitol it’s been about teachers bringing students to protest Wis. Gov. Scott Walker and his budget cuts. But we have some different news to bring you today: during a visit to the Capitol last Thursday, some Wisconsin high school students decided to fight back against the anti-Walker sentiment they were witnessing during an impromptu visit.
In short, students from Sheboygan Lutheran High School decided to stop by the rotunda in Madison while in town for the state high school basketball playoffs. While there, they witnessed protesters signing about unions and solidarity. So they decided to drown them out with pro-walker chants.
The Wisconsin Citizens Media Co-Op has more:
On Thursday March 15, 2012 the afternoon Solidarity Sing Along was taken over by a large group of supporters from Lutheran High School in Sheboygan.
The students, parents and supporters were all in town to participate in the WIAA Boy’s High School Basketball Tournament and arrived at the Capitol for a celebratory rally and to have their photo taken with their legislators. A small group of singers was located on the ground floor of the rotunda for their weekly Thursday afternoon song circle which was quickly drowned out by the thunderous cheers of the LHS group. Shouts of “LHS” and “Stand with Walker” thundered through the rotunda and was met with wide approval from the LHS supporters. One student entered the circle to mock and taunt the singers with dance moves. The extremely loud and boisterous encounter could be heard in the Assembly chambers, where legislative business was still being conducted.
The Solidarity Sing Along remained calm and peaceful throughout the ordeal and eventually moved outside to continue singing while the rotunda erupted in approval. Later on, several visitors from the LHS group were given a standing ovation by some legislators in the Assembly when they were introduced by their legislators.
Here’s the video:
William A. Jacobson, associate clinical professor at Cornell Law School, notes that some anti-Walker protesters were angered by the students’ move, calling it “hypocrisy.” Jacobson wasn’t having any of that:
Excuse me, did the students take over the State Capitol and refuse to leave, set up camp, damage walls, threaten legislators, crash through police lines, encourage police insurrection, sit down in hallways blocking access, pound on buses carrying legislators, lock their heads to railing, or do any of the other destructive things the anti-Walker protesters did for weeks on end last year? (added) Oh, and did I forget the death threats?
It’s worth mentioning that from the video we’re not sure if the students broke out into chanting at the prompting of others or if it was organic. But I will say that I’ve been to the Wisconsin state high school basketball playoffs in Madison, and kids chanting is as common as snow in January.
By the way, just days after the students visited the Capitol, Sheboygan Lutheran won the Div. 5 state basketball championship on a last-second three-point shot by the state’s Mr. Basketball, Sam Dekker: