Atlanta Public Schools is just one of the school systems preparing for nationwide student demonstrations in response to the shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people and sparked a gun control debate.
Organizers around the country have planned a 17-minute National School Walkout on March 14, exactly one month after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who said that the district will support students that participate.
Participation in the approved demonstrations is optional, but any students who participate in non-sanctioned demonstrations will be punished, Carstarphen wrote on her blog.
“We are proactively communicating with students about the guidelines that will be in place around their participation in the non-disruptive activities (e.g. once the 17-minute activity is complete, instruction must resume and students who choose to go outside those expectations will be considered in violation of our discipline code). It is also important for students to remember that disruptive “walkouts” are against district policy, and any student led demonstrations that have not received prior approval will result in disciplinary consequences. Said simply, while we support peaceful organized protesting that is school sanctioned (with prior approval), we do not support disruption of school or obstruction of the school district’s mission, process or function as explained in board policy.”
Read about what other local school systems are doing at Reporter Newspapers.