The Arkansas Legislature, controlled by Republicans, passed Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders “education” bill, dubbed LEARNS, which authorizes vouchers. The first two hearings were held during school hours. The bill sailed through the legislature. The third hearing, where students were able to attend, was limited to a six-page amendment.

The students wanted to oppose the bill, but State Senator Jane English tried to shut them down, interrupting them, cutting them off.

Students found clever ways to work around her brusque treatment but their objections were ignored.

“I’m sorry, you just don’t get to talk on the bill,” English told the students. “If you want to talk on this amendment, specifically things that are in this amendment, you’re free to do that, but you cannot speak on the bill….”

“I’d like to speak on the amendments, and how they do not go far enough to tear down and decimate this bill,” said student Ethan Walker, over repeated interruptions by English. “These petty little wording rearrangements don’t do anything to address how bad this bill actually is….”

Another student, sophomore Rhone Kuta, worked around English’s objections by referencing a specific line on a specific page, as the Republican chair repeatedly interrupted him.

“Where it deletes ‘and’ and substitutes ‘or,’ the reasons I believe this amendment is bad is, this should actually say we are deleting the voucher program on section 63 because the voucher program absolutely reallocates resources from the working class Americans and Arkansans and reallocates it to the upper class,” Kuta said.

The students showed themselves to be far more intelligent than their elected officials. They were treated shamefully. The bill was a fair accompli.

If you do only one thing today at my request, please watch the video in the Alternet post, where you will see an adult bullying high school students.