The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) and National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) have release a free comic book by cartoonist Kai Texel (KT) with the goal of protecting students rights ahead of the planned student protest, National School Walkout and the March for Our Lives (NSWMOL). The organizations are encouraging students to download the book and “share it freely and broadly in advance of the National School Walkout on March 14, the March for Our Lives on March 24 and local protests across the country.”
To demonstrate their commitment, the two organizations brought a veritable who’s who of press release quotees.
“This comic book feels just right,” said NCAC Board of Directors member Judy Blume in a press release. “It’s so important to support and encourage kids on issues that affect their own lives and their country.”
“In the US, freedom of speech is paramount,” said Neil Gaiman, CBLDF Advisory Board Chair. “The First Amendment states that you can’t be arrested for saying things the government doesn’t like. It’s important that students everywhere know that they have the right to be heard. This comic will help provide them with practical tools to raise their voice.”
“A Chinese poet once described free expression as the mother of truth,” said Gene Luen Yang, making a guest appearance in the press release. “In our age of fake news, speaking truth to power is more important than ever. This comic is a valuable guide that teaches students how to ensure their truth is heard.”
“Whether students choose to participate in this national movement or not, whether they walk out into the hallway or march to their Senator’s office, whether they wear orange or write an op-ed for the school paper, this moment is the ultimate First Amendment lesson,” said Abena Hutchful, coordinator of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program and Kids’ Right to Read Project. “We hope that teachers will engage with their students in productive ways and we want to make sure that students know what is — and is not — protected protest speech in schools.”
You can download the comic here, and then upload it to BitTorrent or take snapchat photos of it or whatever the kids are doing these days. You can also follow the hashtag #StudentsBeHeard on Twitter for more info.