Philly-Area Students Have District’s Blessing to Participate in National Walkout
Next week, schools nationwide will hold a 17-minute walkout to honor the victims of the Parkland school shooting.
Next Wednesday, schools all across the nation will unite at 10 a.m. local time in a 17-minute student walkout to honor the 17 victims of the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.
Conceived by two girls from Midwood High in Brooklyn, New York, the walkout gathered enough steam for 40-plus middle and high schools in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey to pledge their support. Though some districts have told older students that protesting may affect their future college application process, the School District of Philadelphia is standing behind their pupils on March 14th.
“We support student’s rights to self-expression and awareness of social issues,” superintendent Dr. William Hite wrote in a letter to principals. “Please remind students to be respectful of students on campus who may not wish to participate, and/or students who may hold opposing views to those shared during the event.”
Through a directive from Hite, the School District is asking all principals to designate “safe areas” for participating students to walk out to.
“As a reminder, should students choose to walk-out, discipline should not be imposed,” Hite said in his letter. “Students participating in the walk-out are expected to re-enter the building and the school should resume normal activities following the walk-out. This is for the safety and protection of all including those remaining in the school and to reduce building disruptions.”
Additionally, the School District is encouraging schools to schedule relevant activities for the day such as assemblies with guest speakers, essay contests, art projects or small group discussion to foster opinion-based conversations in a “safe and supportive way.”
For a full list of participating schools nationwide, visit actionunited.org.