Schools weigh student safety, right to protest

Schools weigh student safety, right to protest

Schools weigh student safety, right to protest

Although demonstrations have sprung up at schools often since the February 14 shooting, the idea behind this walkout originated with Empower, the youth arm of the annual Women's March.

Some have taken a hard line, promising to suspend students who walk out, while others are using a softer approach, working with students to set up places on campus where they can remember the victims of the Florida shooting and express their views about school safety and gun control.

College students aren't the only ones participating in the National School Walkout - so are high schoolers, but they could face disciplinary measures if they participate.

The district also said school principals and staff will accompany the walkouts. Spaulding students involved in the fundraiser efforts told Seacoast Media Group they were focusing on providing a message of love rather than spearheading any local walkouts, although they said they do fully support the goals of the walkouts.

Participation is optional, and all students will be excused from class during that time. For students' safety, the website asks adults not affiliated with the walkout schools to avoid protesting with students.

Can students get in trouble for taking part?

Local law enforcement will have an increased presence on both campuses and no visitors will be permitted on either campus from 9:30 11:00 a.m. They've started a weekly movement they hope will keep public attention focused on school safety and put pressure on lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws.

Dustin Chiang, president of the IOP Student Advisory Committee, said in an email "These students have rapidly organized a nationwide movement and are now at the center of our country's political discourse".

Auburn-Washburn district spokesperson Martin Weishaar said. "If a walkout does occur, our schools and classes will continue on their normal schedule for students who choose not to participate", it reads. It's probably not a big problem unless they regularly miss classes.

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Superintendent Mike Riggle, Glenbrook South Principal Lauren Fagel and Glenbrook North Principal John Finan met with student leaders on the evening of March 11. She does plan to join the March 14 walkout, even it means getting suspended. Students who are marked unexcused for the period of time in which they participate in the walkout will not be disciplined as a result of their absence. Students who do not want to participate will be able to go to designated classrooms to work on homework or study. Student attendance and discipline records remain confidential and can not be shared with colleges and universities.

The demonstration is in honor of the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"The plan is to basically link arms at the perimeter of the school", she said.

In a joint letter from District 113 Superintendent Christopher Dignam, Deerfield Principal Kathryn Anderson and Highland Park Principal Elizabeth Perez Robertson, the administration provided guidelines for the planned walkout.

"We review school safety as an ongoing process".

The campus will be closed to visitors.

But some students plan to march outside the high school, and Mezzanotte isn't comfortable with that activity.

Parents of children who attend Fremont Elementary School in the Bluff Heights area of Long Beach say they plan to surround the school Wednesday morning while holding hands with their children to show "support and solidarity for the students who have experienced this sort of violence", said Jill Parker, a mother of two daughters who attend Fremont.

Others plan to call or write to their legislators or encourage students to register to vote, or pre-register if they're not yet 18.

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