Several Indiana schools are planning programs Wednesday rather than letting students walk out of school during a nationwide gun violence protest.
The National School Walkout marks the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shooting. Students across the country are planning to walk out of school in protest at 10 Wednesday morning. But some Indiana school districts say they don’t want kids leaving because of safety concerns.
Tony Whitaker is Superintendent of Spring Valley Community Schools in French Lick. He says his district is now offering students another option: go to the auditorium. “Nobody’s brought it up, the students have not talked to any teachers or administrators concerning this,” Whitaker says.
“So, we don’t look for a large amount of students to walk out.”
Those who do choose to go to the auditorium for the walkout could face consequences.
“They should be in class and it will be an unexcused absence, and they will not be able to make up the work for whatever they miss,” Whitaker says. “It’s their prerogative as a citizen to do that.”
Vigo County schools are taking a similar approach and offering assemblies to mark the anniversary of the shooting. Students there who participate in the protest will also be marked absent.
Meanwhile, students at Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High School will hold a 17-minute program in the gymnasium, rather than walking out of school. School officials say they won’t penalize students for participating.
Mooresville High School will be in the middle of quarter exams Wednesday. Students met with administrators to talk about how they could participating in the national walkout without disrupting that process.
They will instead have a study hall period on Friday, where students will lead programs with positive and inspiring messages. Mooresville High School is part of Rachel’s Challenge, a national school safety movement that honors Columbine victim Rachel Scott.