Bibb Co. Schools says it's prepared for National School Walkout
MACON, Ga. -- Bibb County Schools say school officials are prepared to act accordingly if its student participate in the National School Walkout scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Students across the country are expected to walk out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. to protest gun violence. Planners say it will last for 17 minutes -- a minute for each life lost in the Florida high school shooting on Feb. 14.
Bibb County Schools Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones, Ed.D. says the district's principals have already discussed the matter. He says that aside from Howard High School, principals have not heard interest from students in participating in the walk out.
"All schools are prepared, though, and have discussed the event with the school personnel," Jones said in a statement Tuesday morning. "Principals are identifying key personnel to monitor hallways and ensure safety procedures are followed in the event that some students decide to participate. While administrators want to be supportive of students’ freedoms to express themselves, we cannot afford to support a disruption of instructional time during the day."
Jones says the schools' response to those who participate will be "measured."
"This means that currently at schools when a student skips class they might receive detention," Jones said. "If they skip class and cause a loud disruption, the response in dealing with the situation might be greater.
"Discipline measures will be the same at each school -- the measured response will fluctuate more on whether or not walkouts are quiet and 17 minutes, or disruptive/loud and longer than anticipated. (For example, if students who aren’t really participating for the intended purpose join in and cause chaos in the halls, then they may be disciplined differently. Also, as an example of the measured response, students who skip class may receive detention, but that detention could mean writing a letter or essay to their legislators explaining what they did and why.)"
WGXA has reached out to all school districts in the area about the National School Walkout.
Toombs County High School says administrators met with its students and have a plan for where they can report to if they elect to take part in the walk out.
"Efforts will be made to disrupt the normal day as little as possible, but to provide students a chance to take part if they so choose," Toombs County Schools superintendent Richard Smith said.
Wesleyan College also tells WGXA it will be participating in the walk out. It says it will suspend all classes from 9:45-10:15 a.m.
Students and the campus community received this message from Provost Melody Blake on Tuesday:
"Wednesday is #nationalschoolwalkout day and Wesleyan will be participating by suspending all classes from 9:45 am-10:15 am. If you would like to join us, we will be holding a short program at the flag pole (OSP lobby for rain location) that will include the reading of the names of those murdered at the school in Parkland, FL, hearing from those who have been personally impacted by gun violence and considering together ways we can unite against this violence. The program will be from 9:50-10:10."
Washington County Schools' superintendent responded by saying they have no comment. Houston County Schools also said it has no comment.
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