WEDNESDAY WALKOUT: Local students say they’ll be part of it

11:57 AM: One of this week’s big stories will be what happens on Wednesday, one month after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida. Students across the nation are planning walkouts in memory of the 17 people killed there, and to support gun-law reform. So far, we’ve heard from students at three area schools – Madison Middle School, Denny Middle School, and White Center’s Evergreen High School. This past Friday evening, some local students gathered at West Seattle Art Nest to make signs:

The walkouts are planned for 10 am Wednesday – local time, whatever the time zone – and planned to last 17 minutes. The Seattle Public Schools board is on record saying it encourages students to stay on campus if they choose to take part in a walkout; we are asking Highline Public Schools (Evergreen is in that district) if it has an official stance.

ADDED MONDAY EVENING: We’ve also heard from a Louisa Boren STEM K-8 student about a walkout plan there. Meantime, Highline tells us superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield sent students a letter last week, which included this:

… Some of you may be considering joining students in other districts and states in a 17-minute walkout on March 14 or in other actions to send a message to adults in power. If you are, I applaud you for taking action on an issue important to you. This is an opportunity for you to learn what it means to be involved in the civic and political life of your community and your world. An important part of that learning is understanding the laws and policies that apply to you if you should choose to participate in a walkout during the school day.

You have a constitutional right to free speech in school as well as outside of school. If there is a walkout planned at your school, you are free to participate or not to participate. If you choose to participate, you need to know that school district policy requires you to be in class or be counted absent. District policy is “the law” in our schools, and as educators we are obligated to follow it. If you are absent from a class period, you will receive an unexcused absence unless your parent or guardian contacts the school office to excuse it.

ADDED TUESDAY EVENING: A bit more information – here’s information on the Madison PTSA website; here’s information from a Chief Sealth IHS newsletter. (added) Police will be standing by at schools where walkouts are planned, Lt. Ron Smith from the Southwest Precinct confirmed. And while we still haven’t heard from anyone at West Seattle High School, Lt. Smith says his understanding is that WSHS is participating too.

21 Replies to "WEDNESDAY WALKOUT: Local students say they'll be part of it"

  • sc March 12, 2018 (12:39 pm)

    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,

     but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

    – Albert Einstein

  • Michael Waldo March 12, 2018 (1:26 pm)

    My wife works for Highline school district.  MT Rainier High school students are planing to walk out. The Superintendent told teachers they cannot join the students in the walk out.

  • Bonnie March 12, 2018 (2:15 pm)

    Chief Sealth is planning a walk out

    • WSB March 12, 2018 (2:24 pm)

      Thanks, haven’t heard yet from any of the students there.

  • Tracy March 12, 2018 (8:19 pm)

    Madison Middle said it will impose a 5 day workstudy as punishment if kids participate in the walkout without a note. 

    My friend who watched an ACLU video on the topic said you can’t punish a student more for a politically motivated unexcused absence than any other unexcused absence. I’m not sure what the school’s thought process is there. 

    • Support Social Principals March 12, 2018 (8:35 pm)

      Sounds like a throwback to a time when social justice advocacy prompted harsh punishments from authority. Mississipi in 1959, Berlin in 1937, Cairo in 2010, West Seattle in 2018. Cool principal, I can’t wait until my kids are there.

      • WSB March 12, 2018 (8:55 pm)

        For accuracy’s sake – I just found the Madison principal’s note linked from the PTSA website. The penalty is for students who *leave campus* without a note.

        Most of the walkout activities we’ve heard of so far don’t involve leaving campuses – for example, Evergreen HS students say they will be gathering in a school parking lot for the 17 minutes.

      • Caellen Caellen March 14, 2018 (8:49 am)

        Consider Denny International Middle Schools, where scholars are ENCOURAGED to be politically active!

  • TreeHouse March 13, 2018 (7:13 am)

    These kids are creating change that even us adults couldnt do. The message is pretty clear that they value their classmates and their lives over the ability to purchase weapons of war. 

    These kids are also planning a March for Our Lives sister march on Saturday March 24th at Cal Anderson Park. It’s open to everyone, not just students. 

  • Mike March 13, 2018 (8:20 am)

    I’m typically not in support of walkouts, protests, strikes.  However, this is showing me a new generation of intelligent and empowered youth who truly care about our future as a country.  I fully support them in this walkout.

  • ScubaFrog March 13, 2018 (9:01 am)

    Woohooo!!  Go kids!  Be the Change you want to see.

    Grow up and ban these tools of terrorism and murder.  We don’t have to be victims anymore.  

    • Rusty March 13, 2018 (2:36 pm)
      March 6, 2018 (5:19 pm)

      I know a lot of people who would have returned (real) fire, those
      paintball guns can resemble real firearms.  I’d likely assume they were
      silenced firearms and returned fire myself.  Those guys are playing a
      dangerous game.

      So, you would have ‘returned fire myself’ against kids with paintball guns, and know of others who would as well. I think that strongly supports the argument that there should be some mandatory training / competency before CCL’s are handed out (to which I’d agree). There very well could be a plausible explanation for this seeming dichotomy, but it got me wondering.

      • ScubaFrog March 13, 2018 (6:16 pm)

        When you have someone pointing a firearm at you and firing projectiles at you, you don’t have time to discern if it’s ‘real’ or not.

        Ask any Combat Veteran or Law Enforcement Officer what they’d do in that instance (they’d fire back).

        Someday we won’t have to worry about guns on our streets.  They’ll be banned.  So a paintball gun will just be a paintball gun, and not a likely drive-by scenario.

        Clearly you’re trolling, I’ll ask in the future that you refrain from addressing me.

        • Rusty March 14, 2018 (2:13 pm)

          Not trolling at all Scuba, I was genuinely confused by the seeming 180 degree difference in posts – and still not clear on that. I am a combat veteran by the way (6 tours), and the sound a bullet makes as it goes by your noggin is VERY different than a paintball.

    • Jon March 14, 2018 (4:49 am)

      “Be the change” and perpetuate more falsehoods and fundie-level lies so that you never approach anyone whose views you oppose in good faith!

      “Tools of terrorism and murder”; except when the cop that you like comes to shoot somebody for you when you experience a Bump In The Night — then those same tools are cool.

      Thousands upon thousands of your fellow neighbors responsibly own firearms (even the scary ones the news mislabels for good reactionary engagement); some of whom have been prior victims of stalking, home invasions, et cetera.

      What do you say to those who choose to protect themselves? That your fear and ignorance overrides their rights? Have you ever made purchase of a firearm, trained with a firearm, or applied for a CPL? Do you support an outright ban? Are you familiar with the laws as they stand? If so, what’s wrong with the law? What’s your magic set of rules to protect the world from random acts of evil? Do you know an actual gun owner in real life? Have you ever been the victim of a serious crime? If so, what was the police response time? What’s your overall position and why? (Here’s the ‘Good Faith’ aspect of it…)

      We know now that the failure point for the incident last month was in law enforcement and in how reports of threats can or can’t be addressed. And in our own state, involuntary committals are nearly impossible, even with warning signs and sworn statements from family. That seems like something we should take a look at.

      So why not work with your scary neighbors in solving that problem instead of punishing them with calls for more senseless legislation?

      • Lynn March 14, 2018 (8:42 am)

        The list of demands the students are making are listed on several websites discussing the walkout. Go read it please. 

      • Caellen Caellen March 14, 2018 (9:22 am)

        Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that living in a home where there are guns increased risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%.4

        The risk of dying from an unintentional gunshot injury is 3.7 times higher for adults living in homes with guns, with handguns in the home posing a particular threat.5

  • S March 13, 2018 (12:19 pm)

    How about the kids stay in school and spend the time writing letter to legislators.  That would be more productive and a better lesson for them.  

    The other thing I have heard is in the High-line School district they are requiring kids that are not going to walk out to provide a letter to let them stay in school. Yes you heard me correct.  Now that seems a little backwards. 

  • Jan Roberts March 13, 2018 (8:26 pm)

    What time can we join the students for the walkout March13 at Madison Middle School?  Thank you! Jan Roberts

  • Brontosaurus March 14, 2018 (9:26 am)

    It’s not just middle schoolers at STEM. Elementary students that want to walk out are being supported in that. There will be staff and volunteers on hand to ensure students’ safety.

    – STEM Parent

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