Sussex County Schools Plan Ahead of Student Walk Out - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Schools Make Plans Ahead of Student Walkout

Posted: Mar 12, 2018 5:20 PM Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- As students across the country prepare to walk out of school in response to the deadly Florida school shooting, local school districts are responding to the idea of walk outs right here at home.

At Cape Henlopen High School, district officials will allow students to conduct a walk out. 

"After listening to the student leaders, our administrative team made the decision to focus on providing a safe environment for the student led 'walkout'," wrote Superintendent Bob Fulton to Cape parents and guardians. "[...] Minimizing the disruption to the school day and stressing a message of acceptance and respect for all students at Cape Henlopen High School, whether participating in the 'walkout' or not."

Fulton went on to write that the walkout is by no means an endorsement from the district, and that any staff member who is part of the walkout will be there for safety reasons only. 

The walkout is part of a national movement encouraged by the Women's March aimed at protesting Congress' actions following the shooting. The organizers encourage participants to walk out for seventeen minutes-- one for each of the victims in the Florida shooting.

Sussex County's largest school district--Indian River--will not be facilitating walkouts at any of their schools. Superintendent Mark Steele said they will not be allowing walk outs at their high schools due to disruption and safety concerns.

"Staff would be required to remain in the building with students who are not participating in the events," Steele wrote in a letter to parents. "We are not able to provide the same level of safety as we can with the students being inside the building."

The letter also included seven examples of the district's safety initiatives. Steele wrote that while the district was not endorsing any walkouts, the larger civic issues at hand would be addressed.

"I have requested that our secondary principals work with the students and staff in each of their buildings to develop activities within the safety of our buildings that will provide students a way to voice their concerns no matter where they fall in this debate," Steele wrote. "This will give students a way to express their views and will enable us to keep all of our students safe."

Both Steele and Fulton encouraged parents to discuss the issue with their children.

Laurel School District Superintendent Shawn Larrimore wrote that the district will be offering a walkout alternative to their older students.

"At 10:00 am on Wednesday, March 14, Laurel Middle School and Laurel High School students may gather in the high school gymnasium (LMS) and the auditorium (LHS) to view a PowerPoint memoriam highlighting the lives of each of the Parkland, Florida victims," he wrote. "LHS’ student leaders will create and direct the presentations, and LMHS administrators will be on hand in a supervisory capacity."

According to Fulton and Larrimore's messages, student participation in the walkout activities is completely voluntary. Students who choose not to partake will stay in class as scheduled.

 

 

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