A National School Walkout Is Planned For March 14, But Some School Officials Aren’t Having It

Across the country, high school students are planning on walking out of their classes on March 14, one month after the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead. However, not all school officials are on board with this idea.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, plans are afoot for high schoolers across the country to walk out of class on March 14, at 10:00 a.m. in each time zone, in protest of gun violence. They will then spend 17 minutes — one minute for each of the 17 victims — outside, before returning to class.

In Wisconsin, Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray is not having it. In an email to parents, in which he blames an unidentified person claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Women’s March organization, Gray wrote that Waukesha schools will not tolerate students walking out of class.

“Participation in a walkout is disruptive and against school regulations and will subject students to disciplinary measures.”

Gray is not alone.

Over in Texas, Needville School District Superintendent Curtis Rhodes is also trying to warn students, and parents, against walking out of class.

“Should students choose to do so, they will be suspended from school for 3 days and face all the consequences that come along with an out of school suspension.”

And while Rhodes is “sympathetic” to the plight of the Florida students, according to KTRK (Houston), he notes that school is a “place to learn and grow,” free of disruptions.

Other school administrators are taking a more “wait and see” approach.

Over in New Jersey, as the Courier News reports, administrators are aware of planned protests in response to gun violence. In fact, in at least two cases, it was students who approached administrators to broach the subject. Margaret W. Hayes, the superintendent of the Scotch Plains Fanwood Schools, said students approached her about the March 14 walkout, but she hasn’t decided one way or the other on whether or not to discipline students who participate.

“While we support students’ rights to express their opinions, we are also mindful of student safety issues that would need to be considered with regard to this event. The district has not taken a position at this time.”

Similarly, Superintendent of Westfield Schools Dr. Margaret Dolan hasn’t taken a position on the matter yet, either.

“A group of high school students appropriately reached out to principal Dr. Derrick Nelson to schedule a meeting regarding the National School Walkout Day. I have every confidence that both students and staff at Westfield High School will handle this important matter seriously and safely.”

Beyond the March 14 walkout, another large-scale protest is scheduled for ten days later, on March 24. The March For Our Lives, as the Cut reports, is scheduled to take place in Washington, with sister marches scheduled in other cities across the country. That march has received six-figure donations from the likes of George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey.