The first of three student walkouts to protest school safety in the wake of another school shooting, will take place 10 a.m. Wednesday
An organization called the Women’s March Youth Empower is asking students nationwide to take part in a protest in response to Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods, according to the group’s web page.
Jeanne Stroh, Ottawa superintendent, told the school board at its Feb. 26 meeting that the district was aware of the planned protest and will support the students and help them organize their event.
“It’s important that our kids understand civil disobedience and that their voice can be heard and how it should be heard,” she said. “We will be standing right there with them but it’s going to come from them, it’s going to be their plan.”
The Empower website indicated the protest was about keeping students and staff safe from violence.
“Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school,” the web page stated. “Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day. Stroh said the administration met and they are going to talk with kids about the event.
The second planned protest is a national demonstration planned for March 24, with a march on Washington, D.C. and a third will be on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.
“The important date [you] need to know is Friday, April 20,” Stroh said. “It’s really about safety in schools. It’s not about guns, it’s about school safety. We would like our students to set something up that’s a community involved protest. We will have information but this is about and for our kids. We want our kids to plan it and we want to support our kids.”