Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
GCS Students Honor 17 Florida Victims
Several weeks ago GCS made the decision that our district would not participate in today’s National Walkout. Encouraging students to walk out of a secure building at a highly publicized, designated time to support greater gun control seemed to us to provide an easy target for someone in an unstable frame of mind. To have such an event occur at 34 locations across our district (middle and high school sites) stretched both district and law enforcement resources too thin for our comfort. A sanctioned event in favor of greater gun control could also have led to a simultaneous event in favor of gun rights. While we recognize the benefits of opposing points of view being expressed in a stable environment and believe that these are important topics that need to be discussed in our society, we were concerned about the level of supervision required to ensure safety.
Though we did not sanction the walkout we knew some students would participate anyway, so instruction that was given to our middle and high school principals both verbally and in writing that students should not be blocked or restricted from participating in the walkout by either teachers or administrators. About 1,000 Greenville County Schools middle and high school students walked out of our buildings today, but they did so in a calm and respectful manner and returned promptly after 17 minutes. For this and for their safety we are very grateful. At all of our secondary schools alternative, student-led activities occurred to remember victims or encourage survivors.