What You Need To Know: National School Walkout

Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 11:13:48-04

Students from several schools across the mid-state are expected to walk out of school for a national rally Wednesday morning.

The National School Walkoutwill be a gathering of students and teachers lasting 17 minutes to help honor the victims killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting last month. 

It will also be a chance for students to voice demands for gun reform from legislators. 

"I think it's the first of many movements and actions by younger generations in America. This is not an issue of whether you're a Democrat or a Republican or how you stand politically. This is an issue of public health and public safety," University School of Nashville junior Ella Steinhilber said.

Steinhilber hopes majority of students in her school will join the protest starting at 10 a.m.

The group Women’s March Youth Empower has called for the walkout and created a map with participating schools from majority of the states.

"Don't underestimate the power that kids have in government and our society," University School of Nashville student Griffin Harrington said.

Harrington and Steinhilber helped start the Youth Advocacy Group under the Safe Tennessee Project. The student-run board will focus on gun violence education and helping raise awareness.

There were about 30 students from different private and public schools join the last meeting.

"It'd be really powerful if we could find a way to unite schools and work as one force going forward and I think that'll be the most efficient way," Steinhilber said.

A March For Our Lives rally has also been scheduled for March 24th. 

School districts in the mid-state have the careful balance of allowing students to express their rights freely and avoiding school disruptions.

Metro Nashville Public Schools:

A spokesperson the district recognize student activism is part of the learning process, and have asked principals to find assembly space in each school for students who plan to participate.

If students leave school without permission and do not sign out, their absence will be counted as unexcused Any disorderly conduct is not permitted and counselors will be on hand if students want to talk.

Williamson County Schools:

For students participating, peaceful assembly will be allowed at predetermined locations designated by school administrators to maximize student safety.

Participating students will miss classroom instruction and will be required to complete missed assignments. No student will be permitted to leave campus without being properly checked out by a parent. 

School visitors will not be permitted on campus during this specific event. Rules outlined in the student handbook will be enforced.

Cheatham County Schools:

The district supports peaceful assembly but is not supporting or encouraging a walkout by students. Each school is making plans for students who want to make alternative plans like writing letters, etc.

Students who do not want to participate can stay in class. If students walk out, it will be treated as skipping class and consequences will be applied.

Behavior that disrupts school will not be tolerated,

Sumner County Schools:

The district encourages students to express themselves, and asked principals to set up a designated place for students to walk out to keep everyone safe

Disruptions will not be tolerated

Montgomery County Schools:

Leaving school without permission is a violation of the student code.  It will be punishable at the principal's discretion. 

If a parent gives a student permission, a student may leave. All walkouts must be done in an orderly fashion