It was the National Day of Silence today while it was the Tax Day Tea Party two days ago. As participating students filed into my classroom, I was struck by their facial expressions. Some were appropriately solemn and reflective. Others stifled smiles, their silence just an affectation, protesting for the sake of protest. There were also provocateurs, students looking to undermine anything that gave the impression of sincerity.
Mostly, I was struck by the bijection between student protesters and adult protesters. Every fringe or mainstream character you'd find at a tea party you'd also find in my sixth period classroom, only smaller and a little more obvious about their motivations.