Oldham County Schools will discipline students who participate in walkout

Oldham County Schools will discipline students who participate in walkout

BUCKNER, KY (WAVE) — Oldham County Schools will discipline students who participate in the nationwide school walkout scheduled for Wednesday.

Superintendent Greg Schultz said allowing students to take part in the walk out puts them in danger.

But some students said they can't stand by and wait for the next tragedy to happen.

Afraid she might not come home from school one day, Oldham County High School freshman Ani Tapp is planning to stand up for herself and her peers.

"If we can't be safe in school, then they are ensuring that we live a period of our lives not knowing whether we are coming home," Tapp said.

Tapp is among the Oldham County High School students planning to partake in the walkout.

"This is terrifying as a student, Tapp said. "As a daughter, I can't imagine how my parents would feel if something like this were to happen to me or how I would feel if something like this were to happen to my friends."

On March 14th at 10 a.m., Tapp and some classmates will walk out of school for 17 minutes and use that time to contact local lawmakers. Tapp and her fellow students are calling for strict gun regulations and better background checks.

Walkouts are scheduled around the country at schools on Wednesday. The National School Walkout was created by student survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, to ask for stricter gun laws.

"We need change," Tapp said. "If this is an issue you believe in you have to do something about it."

Superintendent Schultz sent a letter to parents ahead of the walkout, citing safety concerns and liability issues. Students who participate in a walkout would be considered in "defiance of authority" and face punishments as if they were cutting class.

Tapp said detention isn't what her classmates should be afraid of - and it won't scare her or her peers from walking out.

"If I weren't to do anything and something like this were to happen again, I wouldn't be able to live with myself," Tapp said.

Other school districts have responded to walkouts, too.

In a letter to principals, Jefferson County Public School Superintendent  Dr. Carmen Coleman said students would not be disciplined for participating in a walkout, provided they return to school after the walkout ends.

In a letter to Greater Clark County Schools stakeholders, Superintendent Andrew Melin said that while the district doesn't feel it is safe to allow students to leave the building during highly-publicized events, they believe the voices of students need to be respected. GCCS said they will support students and allow them to hold organized events on Wednesday.

The official statements from OCS, JCPS and GCCS are below.

Letter from Oldham County Schools Superintendent Schultz:

Dear Parents,

Jefferson County Public Schools sent this email to district principals:

March 7, 2018

Dear Principals:

Letter from Greater Clark County Schools:

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.