Opting out is not new , but something important seems to be happening here: savvy students with a clear goal using social media to communicate with each other, the citizens of Colorado, and–now–with a national audience.
What’s happening in Colorado emphasizes the importance of seeing students–not teachers– as the primary workers in schools. Students are, borrowing Peter Drucker’s term, “knowledge workers.” They are most certainly not manual workers. 
Because they are knowledge workers, they must be doing meaningful work that they can respect. Their view of the work matters, and, while they don’t get to decide what to do, their voices must be heard. (So too must teachers’ voices be heard, of course, because top-down decision-making almost always produces poor learning.)