Truancy. It’s a word I’ve seen oft repeated in the argument against student protests. On March 14, students nationwide left classes for 17 minutes to stand against gun violence in their schools. On April 20, they walked out again on the 19th anniversary of Columbine. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Since I started school 15 years ago, I have spent approximately 14 hours hiding as part of an active shooter drill, far more than the amount of time students have spent not in class to protest the fact that children have to spend 14 hours of their lives preparing to be hunted in their schools.I’ve seen a lot of people ask why it has to be during the school day. Many of them are not old enough to vote; many of them are not old enough to drive; and many of them are not old enough for you to have listened to them every other time they’ve said they’ve had enough.You have pushed them to this. You have taught them this is the only way they will be heard — with collective action when you want them to be doing something else.What you learn in life doesn’t begin and end in a classroom. So yes, leaving school in the middle of the day is truant. But part of growing up is learning to stand by your own convictions. It’s arguably the most important lesson.Jill MartinNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?