Natrona School District Has Policies For Student Walkout Protest On Wednesday
The Natrona County School District has guidelines for students interested in expressing their concerns about school safety in demonstrations locally on Wednesday and nationally on March 14, according to a news release Monday.
Locally, a group calling its Casper Youth for Change composed of Natrona County High School students plan to walk from class at 10 a.m. Wednesday to show solidarity with the victims of school shootings and not against guns, according to a letter the group sent to the school's teachers and administrators.
"Our walkout is planned to last 1,606 seconds to symbolize the 1,606 school shootings that have taken place in this country since Sandy Hook," the statement said.
"That's about 27 minutes -- not even half a class period. The protest is going to be entirely peaceful, and students will be returning to class," the statement said. "No one should have to go to school in fear."
It should be added that the students have misinterpreted the figure which counts any shooting involving 4 people in the same place and time, and is not limited to schools.
Wednesday marks the third week after a former student used an assault-style weapon to kill 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.
Hunter Bullard, a senior and one of the primary organizers, expects at least 50 students to participate, and the event was intentionally not scheduled on the same day as a nationwide high school walkout, which is more of a gun control-centered protest.
The Natrona County School District expects those participating in the student-led Natrona County High School walkout on Wednesday and the National School Walkout Day on March 14th to follow the policies in its student code of conduct:
- The event(s) must not disrupt the classroom or interfere with school operations.
- Students who participate will be recorded as absent from class so the school can account for those who are present and/or absent, thus ensuring student safety.
- Students must be accounted for while on school property and during the school day.
- Students will be expected to report back to class in a timely manner at the end of the event without disrupting learning environment.
- Students who do not report back to class in a timely manner will be marked as an unverified absence and may face appropriate disciplinary consequences.
Administrators will be working with student leaders to determine a location on school campuses for those electing to participate.
The student-led walkouts will be coordinated with school administrators to keep students safe while respecting their choice to share their voice, according to the district.
Likewise, local law enforcement will have an increased presence near high school campuses during the planned walkout with the goal of keeping students safe.