WCSD, UNR Release Statements on Proposed Walkout Events
The Washoe County School District and the University of Nevada, Reno have both released statements regarding proposed walkout events scheduled to happen Wednesday.
In response to the recent deadly shooting at a south Florida high school, students nationwide are holding numerous walkouts to demand tougher gun laws, including here in Nevada.
University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson released this statement:
On Wednesday, March 14, a national school walkout is scheduled to be held as a protest to congressional inaction regarding gun violence. We wish to stress that as an institution, there will be no negative fallout for students who participate in peaceful and lawful events such as this one, nor will it adversely affect high school admissions to our University. Classes will run on a regular schedule March 14.
The University of Nevada, Reno has long stressed a model of civic and community engagement for our students. We firmly believe that students who work to make a difference in the civic life of our communities develop knowledge, skills and values that will serve them well throughout their lives, and will help them become more engaged and productive citizens.
We support our current and future students’ active participation in our democracy. We acknowledge their right to stand up in the expression of their beliefs.
President Marc A. Johnson
The Washoe County School District released this statement on the proposed walkout events.
Statement Regarding Proposed Walkout Events
February 23, 2018
As a District, we have always placed a high value on student voice. It is important that our students understand the importance of community engagement and how they can advocate at the legislative level. We understand there are potential “walkout” events scheduled nationwide for March 14 and April 20, 2018. While the Washoe County School District understands and respects the emotional component and intent of these events, our first priority is educating our students. In order for us to carry out this mission, our students must attend school.
We have provided guidance to all of our school sites suggesting that site leaders consider a schoolwide event on the days in question to provide meaningful engagement for all students. Student Leadership clubs and classes could develop ideas such as tying ribbons on the school fences or observing moments of silence. It is important that students play an active role in providing input on such activities as well as campus safety issues. These activities should challenge students to learn about civic engagement at a deeper level.
If students decide to participate in a walkout, however, they will be marked tardy or absent (depending on the length of time they are out of class). These will not be excused.
Students who decide to participate in a walkout must acknowledge the limited amount of supervision that may be available, as the District does not have the resources to monitor the safety of students off campus.
School Police will endeavor to be present at as many sites as possible primarily to observe, assuming students are not disturbing the educational setting or engaging in disruptive behaviors that are unsafe or risk the security of the school.
We ask students who decide to participate in a walkout to peacefully assemble, conduct the activity without disturbing the teaching, learning, and educational setting at their school, and then return to class.