School students across the country are planning a 17-minute National School Walkout on Wednesday; one minute to honor each victim killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. in February.
Students are also using the moments to express their views on school safety and gun control.
Enough is enough!
Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am on March 14, 2018. Join us in saying #ENOUGH!https://t.co/8ZE8uthRlZ pic.twitter.com/45yCZl4zDm
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) February 16, 2018
Even though the walkouts are planned, schools in Northeast Ohio have differing policies on how the peaceful protests will be handled.
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District says they will not interfere with peaceful protests, but students who do leave their classroom or school to participate in the walkout will get an unexcused tardy or absence.
CMSD educators will not interfere with peaceful protests at their school. If students leave their classroom or school to participate in a walkout, teachers will mark the student as unexcused tardy or absent as appropriate, and we will follow each school’s normal procedures for reporting and recording unexcused tardiness or absence. Educators have also been encouraged to remind students that if they choose to participate, they assume the normal consequences of missing class or school.
During any student protest, our safety and security team deploys appropriate resources to ensure that our students and educators are safe and that our students can protest peacefully. When students return to school, they are required to go through the security entrance, as they would be expected to do at any other time they arrive to school.
– Eric S. Gordon, CMSD Chief Executive Officer
Other schools in the area, including the Brunswick City School District, are offering several options for students who intend on walking out.
Brunswick schools will have a designated location outside of their building for students who leave. Those who to remain inside can either demonstrate at an indoor location that will be designated in advance, observe the 17-minutes of silence from their classroom, or choose not to observe completely.
Not all schools across the country are accomodating. A school district in Texas has said that anyone who participates in a walkout or protest would be suspended for three days.
The walkout is also being used as a teachable civics moment. Some students are using the walkout as a form of demonstrating their First Amendment right and are organizing voter registration events as part of the event.
Cleveland 19 News will have additional coverage on National School Walkout Day on Wednesday.
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