CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- On March 14, students in high schools across the country plan to walk out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. in support of gun safety. It’s in response to last month’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.
Nationally it’s being advertised as a protest, “Enough! National School Walkout to End Gun Violence.”
This has created dilemmas among school districts about how they should handle it.
This week Chesapeake Public Schools put out a letter. If parents are ok with the walkout so is the school.
“I know in Texas they are threatening to suspend students for three days if they left the school for any time for any demonstrations or anything,” said Grassfield High School Junior Jillian Grant.
Grant, like hundreds of her Grassfield High School classmates, wants to join in the movement but is worried what could happen.
“If we were going to do it what kind of consequences would we face?” asked Grant. “How would they explain to their colleges that they got suspended for something they believe in?”
So, this week Chesapeake Public Schools said they are willing to work with the students, planning their own walkout called “We Stand with Stoneman” in honor of those 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th.
“They are trying to not be political about it because schools are not allowed to be, it’s more of a memorial, they are going to read off the 17 lives lost, we are going to have a moment of silence, and kind of reflect on what happened,” said Grant.
The school’s policy is pretty simple if the student has a letter of permission signed by their parent or guardian they will be allowed to walk out, and if they don’t have permission they must remain in class.
“Well I think it’s good to put it in the parents’ hands and have their support as well,” said parent Stephanie Creekmore.
Creekmore appreciates how the school district is handling the situation and will be signing her daughter’s permission slip. However, other parents disagree.
“I don’t think they should condone it I think it’s kind of a waste of time,” said parent Jason Brunson.
Brunson said he doesn’t care what the school calls it, a walkout is a walkout, and he will not be signing his daughter’s permission slip.
“I just don’t think shutting schools down over a protest is a good idea in general,” said Brunson.
Chesapeake Public Schools declined to comment for this story.
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