INDIANAPOLIS -- Students at Indianapolis Public Schools and other schools across central Indiana will be taking part in a national walkout event to push for school safety across the country.
The national walkout is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. and will last 17 minutes in honor of each of the lives lost one month ago in the shooting at a school in Parkland Florida.
According to Indianapolis Public Schools, most of the district's high school, middle school and elementary schools plan to participate in the national walkout.
“IPS respects and supports the right of our students to peacefully advocate for causes that are important to them,” said Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “I have talked with our student advisory council about appropriate and creative ways to do so while at school. As our students express themselves, we will ensure that maintaining a safe environment remains paramount.”
While schools are observing the walkout in various ways, all will operate by the same district guidelines:
- All walkouts are student-led.
- Students have the option to participate in the walkout.
- Students who decide to participate in the walkout will not be punished as long as they follow the rules set by the school.
- There will be supervision outside for those who choose to participate in the walkout.
- Participating schools have chosen a designated, safe location on campus for students to gather.
- There will be supervision inside for those who choose not to participate in the walkout.
- Parents are being notified of their child’s options and the safety plans in place.
The ACLU of Indiana sent an open letter to Indiana public school administrators, principals and board members ahead of Wednesday's walkout urging them to respect students' First Amendment rights.
“As an organization that works to harness the power of grassroots activism to affect positive change, the ACLU of Indiana is inspired by these courageous young people and committed to protecting their rights,” wrote Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana Executive Director. “This is a unique moment in history, and a singular opportunity for many high school students. The lessons you teach your students now will be with them for life. We urge you to foster your students’ civic awakening, and help to ensure the health of our democracy in decades to come.”
In response to the National Walkout movement, Beech Grove High School will also be holding a "Walk-In" on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. where they are inviting members of city leadership and the local police to join them in the gymnasium to discuss how they can make changes and work with the government to do anything to make schools safer.
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