How area schools are preparing for National Walkout Day March 14
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Several area schools are planning for their students to walk out for 17 minutes on Wednesday, March 14.
After the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead and over a dozen injured, scores of students, many not even old enough to vote, have been pushed into a position of political leadership in the national debate over gun violence.
More than 18,000 people around the country plan to take part in the 17-minute walk out from 10 a.m. to 10:17 a.m.
Here are how our area schools are participating:
Lynchburg City Schools administrators said they will be coordinating with students and teachers at all secondary schools to support activities that honor victims of the recent tragedy. Principals will be working directly with their student councils to determine how the schools will support the students in its initiative.
"LCS respects each individual’s right to peaceful assembly and free expression, within limits of ensuring safety and security. Therefore, these events are not open to the public," LCS wrote in a statement.
Campbell County Public Schools said they are neither encouraging nor discouraging students to participate in the national walk out planned for March 14 across the country.
If they choose, Campbell County students will be allowed to participate in a peaceful manner.
In a statement, the school system said their number one priority will be safety and at 10 a.m., students wishing to participate will be allowed to assemble for 17 minutes under the supervision of school staff in a safe location that the administration will announce that morning.
After the 17 minute walk out, students will be expected to return to class and resume normal school activities.
Bedford County Public Schools said students who wish to peacefully and respectfully participate will not be disciplined.
"We will be working closely with law enforcement to allow students to participate in designated and monitored locations," a statement released by the school read.
They said it is important to note that, as always, the safety and of students and staff will be a top priority and visitors will not be allowed to participate in the event.
Students and parents in Appomattox County are coming together to provide an alternative for students who don't want to participate in the planned nationwide walk out.
Parents said they want to encourage students to show kindness to everyone at school like those who might be being bullied or left out.
They are holding a prayer at the pole on Wednesday, March 14 at 7:15 a.m. at Appomattox County High School.
Gina Wright, who has organized the event on Facebook, said that it's nothing political, but parents and students want to show that stepping up and being kind could be just as accomplishing as walking out.
Montgomery County Public Schools said it's against division policy for teachers to participate in political activities on school grounds during the schools day. Schools have arranged for teachers to supervise the event for the 17 minutes that classes are covered.
ROANOKE COUNTY & ROANOKE CITY
Both Roanoke County and Roanoke City Public Schools said they have nothing planned, but will not penalize students who choose to participate in the 17-minute walk out on Wednesday.
Danville City Schools are not participating in the National Walkout.
Superintendent Stanley Jones blames mother nature for Danville Public Schools events surrounding the day to be postponed. This week's two snow days are delaying schools plans.
Galileo High School students are planning to hold a unity event, but it will now be held on Friday instead of Wednesday.
On March 24, a nation wide March for Our Lives will take place across the nation as well.