COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Several area school districts are preparing for students to participate in a national walkout, on the one-month anniversary of the fatal school shootings in Parkland, Florida.
On February 14, three staff members and 14 students were killed in the attack, at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
Since then, students across the country have organized the walkout, in honor of the victims and to oppose school violence.
Locally, school districts are taking a variety of stances on the walkouts.
Columbus City Schools leaders have dubbed the day “Safer Together Day.”
A resolution issued by the Columbus Board of Education regarding March 14, read as follows:
“Safety is a fundamental priority in all that we do in Columbus City Schools, and we are safer when we work together to prioritize safety, when we act together to protect one another, and when we speak out together about the need to end gun violence.”
On Wednesday, many of the district’s high school students are expected to participate in the walkout.
In some cases, school leaders have said they will join them.
Across the district, a spokesman said teachers and students will participate in classroom conversations regarding how students play a role in keeping schools and communities safe.
At Groveport Madison Schools, a spokesman said the district will support students who participate in the walkout.
School leaders will provide students with a banner to sign, and orange bracelets that read #NeverAgain.
At Reynoldsburg City Schools, some high school students will participate in programs they helped create, along with building principals.
According to a letter issued by Superintendent Melvin Brown, the programs will be held indoors and will be seen as “respectful gatherings as teachable moments.”
Lastly, the Olentangy Local School District issued a letter to parents indicating school policy prevents school leaders from supporting a walkout.
It goes on to read, in part:
As a result of this policy and guideline, we do not endorse participation in these events nor will we sponsor them. However, please know that if a student elects to walkout, there will be no penalty to the student.
Many of the walkouts are scheduled to last 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 victims in Florida.