Some students at Stanwood and Lincoln Hill high schools plan to walk out of their classrooms March 14 as part of a national protest following the recent high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
On Tuesday, some Stanwood students will join in a group photo after school, which will be sent to Parkland along with the poster.
On Wednesday, students who choose to walk out will march from the front of Stanwood High to the intersection of Highway 532 and 72 Ave. NW, across from McDonald's and Haggen grocery.
In a message to students, organizers at Stanwood High said "it is important for students to express their concerns about safety and feeling towards the lives that have already been taken. Together as a student body we need to unite for anything to change."
Here's a statement from some Stanwood student organizers pic.twitter.com/W6k4oxLTHU— Evan Caldwell (@Evan_SCN) March 13, 2018
Students across the nation plan to participate, according to various media reports across the country.
“We want everyone to feel like they're a part of a family,” Leah Murrill, Lincoln Hill High student body secretary, said last week. “This walkout shouldn't just be about taking a stand with Florida. It should also be about protecting our students as a district and working to actually make a change so we don't have to fear for the sake of students."
They will be part of a nationwide movement championed by the Women's March organization, which is encouraging students, teachers and school administrators to leave their schools at 10 a.m. local time for 17 minutes to remember the 17 victims who died in the shooting.
“We should work toward ensuring nothing like this ever happens again,” Murrill said. “We hope this walkout will be the start of something bigger to inspire other districts and schools to encourage their students to make a voice. Help make a change for the better.”
Stanwood Camano School District staff will not officially plan nor participate in the walkout but they “understand students’ desire to stand in solidarity with their peers across the nation to express their concerns and take some kind of action to help prevent future incidents of school violence,” according to a district news release and letter send home to parents.
During the protest, school staff will be present to monitor students for their safety and to ensure there is not a disruption to the learning environments in our schools, school officials said.
“Demonstrations like these are an expression of students’ free speech rights and as such, we are obliged to respect students’ choice to exercise their rights,” school officials said. “Furthermore, just as the rights of students to participate in protests are respected, we also respect the rights of students who choose not to participate in any kind of student-organized protests.”
Students who elect to walk out of class will need to have pre-arranged parent/guardian permission per the school’s attendance policy. Without permission, normal attendance rules will apply.
Stanwood High students also are planning to create a large poster on which students can write a message to their counterparts from Parkland. And they can choose to join in a group photo after school on March 13, which will be sent to Parkland along with the poster.
“We want to reassure everyone that our schools will be functioning normally; we will work to maintain effective learning environments, and we expect our staff members to support all students — those who do participate and those who do not participate,” school officials said. “Teachers will be expected to perform their normal professional duties in the classroom setting.”