After the latest school shooting that claimed 17 people’s lives in Parkland, Fla., last month, students are planning a nationwide walkout in hopes of sending a message on gun violence in the country.
The national walkout is set for Wednesday, March 14, a month after students, coaches and teachers were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In Union, School District Superintendent Steve Weinhold said so far, only a few students have expressed interest in the walkout. He said if those students end up walking out, their rights will be respected and they will not be punished.
“I think every school is going to approach it differently. There aren’t many kids here who are planning to but if they do we’ll protect their right to express their freedom,” Weinhold said.
Weinhold said while little interest has been shown, if students walkout they will be asked to stay out of the road and protest in a certain area of the school.
The protest comes in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Students from the school, and around the nation, recently called for the walkout and created the hashtag #neveragain to try to disrupt violence in schools and influence legislators to act on gun control.
“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,” the nationwide Women’s March, the organization setting up the school walkout, said in a statement. “Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.”
The Union School District had a scare in January when a student posted threats against the school on social media, resulting in the cancellation of classes for a day.
The student was located by Union police and arrested at the time. Weinhold, after the arrest said it was good to see Union students staying vigilant.
“Anytime there’s a situation it’s great to see students step up and share this with their parents and administrators,” Weinhold said.
He added that the school district is always working on how to best handle a active shooter situation and following best practices.