Education

Area School Systems Prepare For National School Walkout

School students from Montgomery County, Md., rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, at the Capitol in Washington. Atlanta Public Schools plans to let students participate in the National School Walkout.
Atlanta Public Schools plans to let students participate in the National School Walkout.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
Audio version of this story here.

As school systems around Atlanta prepare for a national school walkout event planned for next month, one system sees the protest as a learning opportunity.

The National School Walkout on March 14 will mark a month since 17 students were killed in school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Atlanta Public Schools plans to let students participate. It’s even building a curriculum around the event.

“Whether it’s the legislative process, the process for advocacy on issues: that’s something that’s all our students need to be familiar with as appropriate to their age,” said Erica Long, Special Assistant to the Superintendent.

Long said school administrators are working with middle and high school student leaders to coordinate logistics.

She said they’ll take the same approach to other protest events planned for later this year. Energy is coalescing around two other events: the March for Our Lives on March 24th, and the National School Walkout on April 20th.

“We have a long tradition within our community of student led demonstrations and protests and many of those demonstrations have been pivotal towards getting our city to where we are now,” Long said.

DeKalb County officials said they’ll let students participate, if they’re not disruptive. Fulton County Schools says it doesn’t allow walkouts but is working with students on an alternative.

Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett county officials say their districts are still forming plans.

A note of disclosure: WABE’s broadcast license is held by the Atlanta Board of Education.