PLAINVILLE – Several Plainville High School students will participate in a “walk-in” Wednesday in support of the national walkout movement formed to bring attention to the need to end school violence and honor the victims and survivors of the recent Parkland shooting.
The school shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida killed 17 students and staff last month. Since then, school officials in Plainville have held safety assemblies and discussed the national upcoming walkout with the community.
“The student-organizers have made us aware that on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 they have invited any current Plainville High School student who wishes to come together to show their support for this national movement to take part in a seventeen minute ‘walk-in,” said Roberto Medic, high school principal, in a letter to parents and students Monday.
William Cronkhite, a Plainville High School student, commented on the upcoming event.
“The main thing that we’re trying to accomplish with this demonstration is to advocate for common sense gun reform,” he said. “The term is a little ambiguous, but it’s less divisive if people can assign their own meaning to it.”
Instead of leaving the school, students who wish to participate in the movement will report to a specific section of the building at 10 a.m. The walk-in will last 17 minutes in honor of the 17 people who died during the Parkland shooting.
“I personally have asked all students to use the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Florida) as a moment to reflect in order to make our school great by becoming more inclusive as a school community, to end negative behaviors, and put a stop to bullying,” Medic said.
The national walkout was recently discussed at a Board of Education special meeting. Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania said the main goal is to keep students safe if they wish to participate or not.
“We have already put together a work force for that day,” he said.
Access to the school will be limited from 10 a.m., to 10:17 a.m., to students and school/district personnel. Parents and other community members are encouraged not to come to the school at that time.
The movement is a volunteer event and students who do not wish to participate will remain in regularly scheduled classes.
Medic said there will be no assigned “behavioral consequences” for students that choose to participate.
He said parents should talk to students beforehand regarding participation or non-participation in the event.
School officials are expected to meet in the next few weeks to further review safety and security protocols for the district. A school resource officer is also being considered for the high school.
The walk-in is expected to be discussed more at tonight’s Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m.
More information can be found on the district website.