Students walk out of school to protest gun violence

Students walk out of school to protest gun violence

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Students walked out of schools across America and in the Tri-State Wednesday for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 victims of the February mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., and to call for legislation that responds to gun violence.

Here's how school officials planned to handle walkouts, and what discipline students might face if they violate rules:

Boone County Schools

Students have not alerted Boone County Schools administration to any walkout plans, according to spokesperson Barbara Brady.

"We would not support a student walkout," Brady said. "We would support something  constructive and relating to education that does not distract from it."

It's unclear what discipline awaits students who walk out of school.

Cincinnati Public Schools

CPS walkout events will vary, with some schools opting to host assemblies or participate in walkout-like activities. Discipline will also be handled on a case-by-case basis, said Lauren Worley, a district spokeswoman.

"Our principals and school leaders will be working collaboratively with students to find ways to exercise their rights safely and with minimal classroom disruption," Superintendent Lauren Mitchell wrote in a letter to parents.

For students' safety, CPS will not make event details public.

Mitchell said parents should contact their child's principal for activity details.

Covington Independent

Did not respond.

Dayton Independent

Did not respond.

Forest Hills Local Schools

Turpin High, Anderson High and Nagel Middle have set staggered times for student walkouts and meetings in common areas.

The district also plans to have the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office provide additional security at schools, according to Superintendent Scot Prebles. Students who are not in class will be responsible for missed work.

"We want to ensure that all student feel safe and respected, no matter what they choose to do," Prebles wrote in a letter to parents.

Fort Thomas Independent

Highlands High School will excuse students for a 17-minute ceremony on Wednesday morning. Students will speak on improving the school's climate and observe a moment of silence.

Fort Thomas Police and faculty will supervise the event. Students not wanting to participate will remain in class. It is not clear if the walkout will be outdoors.

"We are hoping that students can identify productive changes that can easily be implemented at HHS as well as other schools," Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser wrote in a letter to parents.

Indian Hill Exempted Village

Indian Hill High School will hold a "walk-in" at which students will speak with each other in small groups and have a moment of silence for the Parkland shooting victims.

Students will also spend 17 minutes writing letters to victims' families and state representatives. Students may demonstrate outdoors, but those who leave the campus during the event will be charged an unexcused absence.

"We have already begun coordination efforts with the Indian Hill Rangers in anticipation of the events of March 14," Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles said in a message sent home to parents.

Kenton County Schools

Kenton County Schools administrators have not planned a walkout event for March 14, according to spokesperson Jessica Dykes.

"The students are in charge of the activities and no faculty member or staff member is encouraging or discouraging any student to participate in any way," Dykes said.

Students at Simon Kenton High School walked out to protest gun violence on Feb. 21.

Kings Local Schools  

Kings High School students and officials met Friday to finalize details of a walkout protest.

Spokesperson Dawn Gould said student safety is a primary concern, and extra security would be present at any event.

"We have not figured out what we will do, but we do plan on having law enforcement to ensure a supervised and safe environment," Gould said.

Lakota Local Schools 

Lakota is not releasing details of planned walkouts for safety reasons.

"All of our high school students were invited to participate in conversations with school administrators to determine how best to have their voices heard in a safe and effective way," spokesperson Betsy Fuller said.

Mason City Schools

Mason High School students will walk into the Field House for 17 minutes. Mason Middle School students will demonstrate during their lunch. Students and faculty will not be allowed to leave campus.

"While we support student advocacy, leaving our schools poses a significant safety risk, and any student who does so will face disciplinary consequences," said a communication to parents.

Spokesperson Tracey Carson said students that leave school could face a Friday night or Saturday detention.

Newport Independent

Newport High School says the walkout will begin at 8 a.m. at last for 17 minutes along Sixth Street. Students are being asked to wear white shirts and organizers say that a limited number of t-shirts and signs will be provided.

Newport Independent released a statement on Wendesday's walkout.

"As many of you have already heard, Wednesday March 14, 2018 is scheduled as a National School Walkout day for students to voice their concerns against school violence and the impact it has had on our nation's public education system. We have several students at Newport that are planning to participate in the Walkout this Wednesday. I do want to assure our community that our school has taken the appropriate measures to ensure this will be a safe and productive demonstration. Included below is a brief description of the event that will take place. Students will be supervised at all times by Newport faculty. Newport Police will also be on campus participating in the Walkout. Students choosing not to participate in the Walkout will remain in class. We are implementing new safety procedures across the district and are hoping that students can identify productive changes that can easily be implemented at Newport High School as well as our other schools."

Organizers say that students will begin gathering in the gymnasium and cafeteria at 8 a.m. and students have a planned pathway to exit the school so that 700 students don't bombard the office doors at once.

The school plans to complete the walkout at 8:30 a.m. which would have everyone back inside in time for the class change.

New Richmond Exempt Village

The school district sent out a letter to parents Friday saying that student leader at New Richmond High School informed school administrators that they planned to participate in the walkout Wednesday.

Students who participate in the walkout Wednesday will be assigned an 'unexcused tardy,' said the district. They say the Board approved student code of conduct does not list protests or political demonstrations as a reason for an excused absence.

The district also says that teachers won't be participating in the walkout and the school says they can't guarantee the safety of students who participate.

Northwest Local Schools

During classes, Colerain High School students will walk to their gym for 17 minutes of silence to honor the Parkland victims. The event is voluntary and will be supervised.

The event is the culmination of a "17 Days of Kindness" initiative.

"Each day we have identified an activity to practice an act of kindness within the walls of Colerain High School and read a bio of one of the victims to help us focus on the importance of school safety," principal Jack Fisher wrote in a letter to parents.

Oak Hills Local Schools

Oak Hills High School students plan to sit on the track around the football field for a 17-minute demonstration.

"We will have additional security and police presence to ensure the safety of our students," spokesperson Emily Buckley said.

Students will be responsible for missed work, and those not participating in the event will go to a supervised study hall.

Reading Community City Schools

"On Wednesday, March 14 Reading High School will be holding a short memorial for the victims from Stoneman Douglas High School," said Reading Community City Schools in a Facebook post. "This is not a political walk-out and students are NOT required to participate. High school students will be dismissed at 9:55 a.m. from their third bell class and will congregate in the grass in front of the school on Bonnell. Student Council members will read the names of the victims of the Parkland Shooting and acknowledge those others who have lost their lives in schools. We will then be issuing the students a challenge and kick-off a campaign of kindness. The plan is to have everyone back in the building by 10:15 a.m."

Sycamore Community City Schools

Sycamore High School students will walk out on the soccer field for a 17-minute demonstration on March 14. Students will speak briefly on the Parkland shooting victims before returning to class.

Law enforcement will be present at the event, and no one may enter or exit the high school while students are demonstrating.

Sycamore Junior High will observe a moment of silence, and younger students are encouraged to do "17 random acts of kindness" through the day.

Parents will need to sign out students to actually leave school, which will count as an excused absence.

Wyoming City Schools 

Wyoming High School student council is making plans with school officials for a protest on March 14.

Wyoming Middle School students interested in protesting have been asked to spend 17 minutes in the school courtyards.

"Wyoming City Schools supports each Wyoming student's First Amendment rights and will take steps to provide students a safe place to exercise those rights," spokesperson Suzy Henke said in an email.

Archdiocese of Cincinnati-affiliated schools 

"The elementary and high schools of the Archdiocese will all be participating in a prayer service in lieu of participating in the National School Walkout," said spokesperson Jennifer Schack.

The prayer services will be held at each school between March 14 and April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, she said. Students and faculty will participate in a 17-minute prayer service in remembrance of the 17 victims in Parkland.

Diocese of Covington-affiliated schools 

"No, there are no walkouts planned," said Archdiocese of Covington spokesperson Tim Fitzgerald. "However, the Catholic schools are planning a prayer service at 10 a.m. on March 14 to coincide with one of the walkouts."

Sam Rosenstiel and Niala Wagstaff also contributed to this article.

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