With students throughout the country organizing a walkout in the wake of the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla., Scarsdale officials have laid out a plan to ensure that there will be safety at school campuses for students interested in activism.
Nationwide, students have come together on social media and other outlets to plan a walkout that is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”
“We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” according to organizers of the national movement.
“Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school. Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.”
In response to the possible walkout, Scarsdale High School Principal Kenneth Bonamo issued an alert to parents and students, laying out a safety plan involving the Scarsdale Police Department.
“I have asked our school government officers to work with students who are leading various activities at that time and apprise us of their plans for the day so that we may plan for the safety and security of our students, which is our primary concern, he said.
“Therefore, the campus will be closed to visitors and traffic from approximately 9:45 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on the morning of March 14. While we understand that parents and other community members may wish to participate or observe the students’ activities on this day, safety concerns necessitate that we keep the campus closed to visitors during this time. If you have an appointment in the school building or in the district office at that time, please call or email your contact person to reschedule it for another time.”
Bonamo noted that “our first obligation is to provide a regular institution day on March 14.” Teachers who are teaching classes have been instructed to stay in the classroom, and teachers not assigned to a class at that time have been asked to assist in the supervision of the potential walkout.
“While we support students in exercising their right to engage in political activism, we must be careful not to support any specific political messages as an institution,” he noted. “We think we have found a way to walk this fine line.”
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