National School Walkout: Students preparing to protest; local schools set guidelines

National School Walkout: Students preparing to protest; local schools set guidelines
(Source: JCPS)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The nationwide protest being planned for Wednesday is prompting school districts across WAVE Country to set expectations for their students.

The national walkout has been planned since shortly after last month's shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 students and faculty members dead.

Local districts are taking different approaches to the planned walkout. Take a look below:

Jefferson County
JCPS Acting Chief Academic Officer Carmen Coleman recently sent the following guidance to JCPS principals:
As you know, a nationally organized student walkout is planned for March 14 at 10 a.m. As you think ahead, I encourage each of you to speak with students in your building and encourage alternate activities; however, if they are going to participate, it is critical to provide a safe environment with adult supervision. Please inform your assistant superintendent of your plan to ensure student safety. If students participate and do not return to class, they will be counted absent and are subject to discipline according to JCPS policies and procedures.

Oldham County
Superintendent Greg Schultz sent the following email to parents:
One thing I have decided, as the person charged with keeping everyone as safe as possible, is that we will NOT be participating in any walkouts. Here is my reasoning so that you understand where I am coming from. I truly believe that our schools are safe. I do not think it wise to formally announce to anyone who may have an agenda to do harm that all students and staff can be located at x time at x location. By doing so we are taking our students from a safe zone to an unsafe, less-controlled zone. This is not a good plan nor a safe plan.
*NOTE: South Oldham has messaged their agenda for the day, including several activities allowing students to be active in the discussions.  

Hardin County Schools spokesman John Wright:
We are allowing students to participate should they so choose in a controlled event.

Bullitt County Public Schools spokeswoman Sarah Smith:
We are currently working on guidance for our schools along with our board attorneys for final input and consultation.

Clark County (Indiana)
Greater Clark County Schools Superintendent Dr. Andrew Melin:
We do not feel it is safe to allow students to leave the school building during events that are so highly publicized, but we also believe that their voices need to be respected. As a district, we have worked this entire school year on implementation of our academy model and the number one thing we revisit during our work is discussion about the importance of student voice ... We, as a district, have decided to support our students by allowing them to hold student organized events on Wednesday, March 14th.

New Albany-Floyd County spokesman Bill Briscoe: 
We definitely encourage students to stay inside. We will be communicating to our parents in a few days.

Clarksville Community Schools will allow students to gather in an area of the building, but they cannot exit.

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