WALKOUT: District guidelines


March 14 has been identified as the first of several student-led walkouts calling on Congress to limit access to assault rifles and to tighten gun control legislation. The day falls exactly one month after the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 students and faculty. 

The ENOUGH National School Walkout—organized by students and supported by Woman’s March Youth Empower—calls on students to attend school and then walkout of their classes at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes; one minute for each of the victims of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

In Cottage Grove, the South Lane School District has issued a set of guidelines for students and teachers who want to take part in the walkout. The guidelines, according to South Lane Communications Coordinator Garrett Bridgens, are to be used by individual school administrators to communicate with staff, students and parents. 

Students who choose to walk out will receive an unexcused absence and must remain on campus, according to the guidelines. 

Teachers may participate as well if arrangements have been made with their supervisor in advance of the walkout. 

“Though staff has the right to freedom of speech and expression just as students do, they are also subject to limitations while they are at work. Staff must remain neutral and use this as a teachable moment,” the guidelines read. The guidelines also note that if an instructor's entire class participates in the walkout, the teacher may also leave the classroom but must stay on campus. 

A student group of survivors of the Parkland shooting have been vocal in their support of the walkouts planned between today and April 20, the 19th anniversary of the deadly shooting at Columbine High School. An additional walkout is scheduled for March 24. 

Nikolas Cruz, 19, entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, armed with an AR-15. Cruz had been expelled from the school, had been the subject of several law enforcement calls by his mother and had posted to social media that he planned to take part in a school shooting. He purchased the firearm legally a year prior to the shooting. 

Complete guidelines set by South Lane School District:

Students need to stay on campus.

Remind students they will receive an unexcused absence.

If parents show up they need to remain on the sidewalk

Have you collaborated with your SRO (school resource officer)?

Review the student code of conduct and let them know it still applies.

Attendance will be taken at the start of the period.

Let students know that attendance will be re-taken upon conclusion of the walkout.

Though staff has the right to freedom of speech and expression just as students do, they are also subject to limitations while they are at work. Staff must remain neutral and use this as a teachable moment.

Staff who are teaching at the time of the walkout must remain in their classroom with students who are not participating, unless arrangements have been made with their supervisor in advance to secure coverage and for supervision purposes. If the entire class participates in the walkout, staff will be able to accompany the students for supervision purposes (staff must remain on campus).

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