School Walkouts Planned Around Charlotte
Students are planning to walk out of at least 10 schools in the Charlotte metro area Friday as thousands of others are doing so nationwide. They are demanding legislative action to prevent school shootings on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre that left 13 victims dead.
Some of the events are school sanctioned, others are not. According to the National School Walkout website, more than 2,500 walkout events are planned. The purpose of the event is to protest congressional, state and local inaction to prevent gun violence. But not all students are leaving school. There will be events at South Mecklenburg, Myers Park and David W. Butler high schools - along with extra security, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesman Tracy Russ said.
“We strongly discourage students from leaving campus for these events," he said. "But at the same time, we want to make sure they are supported in their leadership, and they do have the opportunity to express their views and use those voices that are emerging out of the education that they’ve received."
At St. Anne Catholic School in Rock Hill, students will wear orange for gun safety and hold a prayer service. Fort Mill School District said it hasn’t heard from students or parents, so it hasn’t made any special preparations.
The principal of Central Cabarrus High School said although the walkout is not a school event, the school supports students and will be handing out ribbons.
Groups have signed up to walk out at schools in Tega Cay and Fort Mill in South Carolina. North Carolina students in Concord, Waxhaw, Davidson, Gastonia and Charlotte have also signed up.
Recently, CMS’s budget request called for more than $9 million to add hardened doors, glass reinforcement, perimeter fencing, locks, cameras and more police officers for school security.