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School systems respond to National Walkout Day

Students during protest in Ohio back in February (WKRC photo)

Students at school systems around the country are planning to participate in the National Walkout Day on Wednesday.

The event marks one month since the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. A national movement sparked by that incident has students, staff and others planning to walk out of class at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The movement is said to be partly a protest to push lawmakers to pass gun reform while also honoring those who died in the shooting.

CLICK HERE to read more on the event scheduled for Wednesday

Many school systems across Eastern North Carolina have taken notice of the event planned Wednesday and are making plans for it. Monday, Onslow County Schools issued a statement on the event and how it will prepare for it in its school system. Tuesday, Craven County Schools did the same.

Below are press releases from both school systems about Wednesday's event.

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ONSLOW COUNTY SCHOOLS OFFERS STUDENTS OPPORTUNITIES TO REMEMBER THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RECENT TRAGEDY IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA

Onslow County Schools, March 8, 2018 — March 14th marks one month since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. In remembrance of those affected, students across the country have been urged to participate in a national walkout at 10 a.m. on that day.

Onslow County Schools respects our students’ voices, advocacy for their beliefs and desire to observe this national event. Our high school administrators have been working closely with their student government leaders and other on-campus student organizations, as well as district staff, to create student-led events to mark the day. Measures have been taken to ensure these events will be safe, respectful and create minimal disruption to the school day.

“Our students have a powerful voice and it is our role as educators to help students, through educational opportunities like these events, find their voice. It is our job to help them recognize that it matters when they speak about issues where they are passionate. It is also important to remember that the safety and security of our students and staff is a No. 1 priority in our district.” Superintendent Rick Stout stressed.

Students who do not wish to participate may stay inside in a supervised area. All students who do participate will be required to remain on school grounds and under supervision.

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National Walkout Day

Craven County Schools has been working closely with school administrators since the announcement of the plans for the National Walkout Day in Remembrance of the seventeen victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Principals have communicated with students the importance of maintaining a safe and conducive learning environment while still providing an opportunity to memorialize the lives of those lost as a result of this tragedy.

While respecting students’ First Amendment Rights, Craven County Schools is communicating with students who are interested in expressing themselves so long as there is minimal disruption in the classroom and does not impact student and staff safety. The schools have been providing alternative options for students to demonstrate their compassion during this time. Alternative, peaceful, on-campus plans include, a moment of silence to remember those that lost their life and student led walk-in’s.

The district shares the community’s concerns regarding school safety and continues to partner with local law enforcement and other agencies throughout Craven County to provide training and continue practicing through drills to ensure staff and students are as prepared as possible for any type of emergency that might occur at school.

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