Guest post by Steven Baule, Superintendent at Muncie Community Schools, Indiana: Today, many students walked out of school for a symbolic 17 minutes as a gesture to honor the 17 lives tragically lost during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. This peaceful protest is intended to advocate for legislators to do a better job of keeping them safe. A similar walkout is planned for April 20 (see USA Today story). In many cases, building leaders met with student leaders to ensure that the walkouts will be safe and secure. Offspring provides a Student’s Guide to Walkouts and Protests staff can use to ensure should be aware of these types of postings and ensure they are accurate for your student body. The US Department of Education has also published guidelines of which schools should be aware. IT staff can help by posting information about the walkouts and general security information on the district’s website and social media. They can also provide contact information for local, state, federal legislators so students and parents can more easily contact them. It is important for schools to ensure that students are allowed to exercise their First Amendment Rights as required by the Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court Decision from 1969.
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