Louisville-area schools plan for students to walk out of class Wednesday to protest gun violence
The ENOUGH National School Walk-Out is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, exactly one month after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The ENOUGH National School Walk-Out is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, exactly one month after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people.
The Women's March Youth claims to be the overall organizer for the event, which protests gun violence. Organizers are asking students across the country to walk out of their schools at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes to remember the 17 victims.
Schools across Kentuckiana are making plans to keep students safe if they decide to participate in the student-led protests. The area's largest school district, Jefferson County Public Schools, is allowing each school to decide what it will do in terms of allowing students to leave or not. Valerie Rueger, a seventh grade teacher at Kammerer Middle School, said she is choosing to make the protest a teachable moment.
"It's important for them to understand why they're walking out and what the symbolism is," Rueger said.
She wants students to realize they are not just walking out for fun.
"What are both sides of the issue?" Rueger said about some of the lessons students would learn in class Wednesday. "The NRA and then what the students are saying."
No matter how schools approach the protests, they all have student safety as the first priority.
"We just don't think it's a good idea to advertise to the world that we will have 1,300 students standing in our parking lot at exactly 10 a.m. on March 14," said Lori McDowell with Oldham County Schools.
Oldham County Schools is encouraging students to make a difference by standing up instead of walking out. McDowell said they are fully discouraging students from walking out the doors because of safety issues.
South Oldham High School is planning to have different activities students can participate in that truly make a difference and honor the lives of the 17 victims of the Florida shooting and the two victims from the Marshall County shooting. Some activities include registering to vote, writing letters to Congressmen about gun violence, lighting 19 candles in remembrance of the victims and writing letters to teachers, students and victim's families involved in the school shootings.
Oldham County still expects some of its students to walk out of school and said there are consequences that could follow if that happens. However, if a parent or guardian fills out the Education Enhancement Opportunity form, the student could be excused for the walk out.
All schools have different handbooks and policies to deal with students leaving school. The links to school district's plans can be found below.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.