Student Protests Wed – The Plan – County by County

School districts across the country are planning for a student walk out this Wednesday March 14.
Gwinnett Schools appropriately noted, “If a school or school district approves or condones a walkout by students in the present situation, it must take the same position with any and all student groups that want to take similar action in the future, regardless of the cause being promoted.”
The Gwinnett position begs the question for those districts that are suspending their policies and allowing the walk-out to be sanctioned: What if future student led walk-outs are held that support or oppose various controversial topics and ideas; such as abortion, illegal immigration, gun rights, gun confiscation, etc.?
If the school district has set a precedent, allowing walk-outs in violation of board policy and the student code of conduct, where will this end? On what basis is board policy even allowed to be violated? Does this violation expose the school district to legal risk?
This is the plan for various school districts in the Metro Atlanta area:
DeKalb SchoolsSuperintendent Green announced DeKalb Schools is breaking from board policy and the student code of conduct to provide students a place to protest on campus during school hours. Principals are working with student groups who wish to participate in the protest. The school district is supportive of employee participation in the protest.
Cobb SchoolsCobb Schools is putting academics first. Cobb County School District will work with students to identify the best methods to accomplish this demonstration without interruption of normal school operations.
Clayton Schools – Clayton Schools will support the students and staff in peaceful demonstrations.
Gwinnett Schools – Gwinnett Schools is concerned about academic impact saying, “We believe the student walkout, however well-intended, could negatively impact our ability to meet our primary responsibility. Classroom learning will be affected if students miss instructional time, and the safety of students could be compromised if they leave class or campus without permission.”
Fulton Schools – Fulton schools originally opposed sacrificing class time for the protest, but has since walked that back saying it would support a structured activity during the walkout.
Atlanta Public Schools – APS Superintendent said, “It is also important for students to remember that disruptive “walkouts” are against district policy, and any student led demonstrations that have not received prior approval will result in disciplinary consequences. Said simply, while we support peaceful organized protesting that is school sanctioned (with prior approval), we do not support disruption of school or obstruction of the school district’s mission, process or function as explained in board policy.”

Walk Up, Not Out
Good suggestion. Lisa has noted a more proactive and repeatable recommendation proliferating on social media. Walk up to the kid that always sits alone at lunch, and invite him or her to join you. Include those students that struggle to assimilate, and show kindness to them. Doesn’t allow for cool selfies, but it would certainly be a more proactive way to effect change on the ground.

WSB TV 2 is reporting that DeKalb Schools Superintendent Green says “there are dozens of threats the district has investigated since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.” … 59 to be exact at the time.

70 responses to “Student Protests Wed – The Plan – County by County

  1. I am happy with Dekalb’s position.

  2. DrainTheSwamp

    @DunwoodyHS weekly eNews email fails to mention planned admin-supported student learning-obstruction walkout of March 14. Teachers moved tests from this day due to predicted distractions, yet @DeKalbSchools says a learning event. 3rd disruptive protest #DHSFails

  3. Heather, If we all agreed on the various topics, we wouldn’t need the First Amendment. Are you concerned about the precedent this is setting? Would you be so happy with a pro life or pro carry rally that effectively stops all academics during the school day? Food for thought.

  4. Where's The Beef?

    So, the urchins will walk outside, take endless selfies to post on {witless social media app}, then return to class and be disruptive about said “protest”. Will this mess up the lunch schedule?

  5. Bill Armstrong

    Stan: You know what also “that effectively stops all academics during the school day?” The School intruder drills these schools are now having with more frequency these days, including Chamblee HS last week. My daughter was in the middle of a test, finishing it today. I have no problem with that.
    Maybe they’ll be taking selfies during the walkout, better that than taking cell phone video of a shooting going on in their school.
    And when I talk to my 14 & 16 year old students & their peers – THAT’S what they’re walking for.

  6. “The School District is supportive of employee participation in the protest.”
    Completely absurd. At no time should students have knowledge of a teachers political views or opinions. Teachers are in a position of power over the students. This is a conflict of interest and completely unethical. Teachers should remain in class on topic. I’m very disappointed, but sadly not surprised with DeKalb’s decision.

  7. Dear Stan,
    I also agree with DeKalb. If we are all honest, the reaction of the students in Florida is different from what has happened after previous school shootings. It is awful to have to type the words “school shootings.” As with any situation, there are students that may use this as an excuse to be out of class. I don’t think that this applies to all of the students. I believe that there are many students, parents and educators that have been deeply impacted by these events. Hopefully the demonstration can occur in a peaceful manner. We can all pray that these horrible school shootings can end.
    This is one of those teachable moments. Have the students write an essay on this event. Have them argue the pros and cons of a demonstration. Have them do research on the history of demonstrations. Let them research the number of school shootings in America. Have them send emails or letter to the school in Florida. Have them explain why they want to be a part of this demonstration. There are many ways that this protest can be a learning exercise.
    They are not asking to be out of class all day.
    The City of Atlanta and most school systems shut down in January due to the Georgia Game. (Of cause we said it was due to the snow.)

  8. crystal Hawkin

    First of all, it is not a protest if the students are allowed to do it. Second, why would DeKalb county authorize breaking the school codes of conduct at all when that will only set another precedent later on. The county can not pick and choose when they want to follow or break the code of conduct and not allow the same for parents. Please leave politics out of children’s education. Perhaps DeKalb county school system should transfer the effort into keeping young black boys out of prison and off of drugs. Give our black children the tools to be productive citizens instead of indoctrinating them. Help motivate them to get into good colleges and teach them consideration for others. This isn’t the kids idea, it is political garbage. Please leave politics out of children education. DeKalb county already has terrible a terrible reputation when it comes to educating children. Btw, my Masters degree is in Criminal Justice.

  9. Don McChesney

    With some of the lowest scores in the state it would seem Dr. Green would think about instruction. It seems DeKalb has forgotten its primary purpose in education. With this kind of leadership you can see why the results attributed to DeKalb are believable. Students not participating in the walkout will also be losing instruction time while the schools put them in holding groups in the schools.

  10. Bill Armstrong

    Anyone care to comment on my point that they now are losing academic time doing school-wide drills on what to do if an intruder enters the school, and will do so for the rest of their academic careers, but you are taking issue with them speaking up and having an organized march about WHY they are doing these drills?
    Crystal “This isn’t the kids idea” those that keep thinking that are going to find their political reality differently as soon as more & more of these kids vote, but they are already getting their attention of many “grown-ups.”

  11. Lisa Victory

    School safety drills are covered in the Code of Conduct. Intruder drills, in particular, keep students safely inside of the school building. Student walk-outs break the code of conduct and put students at risk if any of them go off-grounds.
    Walk Up, Not Out
    I like the alternative that has been suggested through social media, to “walk up, not out”. Walk up to the kid that always sits alone at lunch, and invite him or her to join you. Include those students that struggle to assimilate, and show kindness to them. Doesn’t allow for cool selfies, but it would certainly be a more proactive way to effect change on the ground.

  12. Dekalb County Schools Stink

    Do you notice that the crappy school systems (Dekalb and Clayton, which are among the worst in the nation) are the ones allowing protests while the stronger school systems are not? That speaks volumes.

  13. Walkout is nothing but selfie opp. Have lunch w/ someone bullied/ostracized, set an example for REAL change.

  14. There are events all during the school year that disrupt the classroom. I am sure that must of us remember the staged MTV Lakeside Prom Pep Rally
    ” Lakeside High School in DeKalb allowed an MTV reality show to film an elaborate prom invite — known as a “promposal — that involved using school time to gather the 400-member junior class, dance team, cheerleaders, drumline and basketball team in the gym so one effervescent junior could ask her longtime beau to the prom.”
    Even some of the most elite colleges in America respect the rights of students to protest about this issue. Harvard, MIT and Yale among colleges that won’t penalize applicants protesting gun violence
    “The mission of Harvard College is to provide a deeply transformative liberal arts and sciences education that will prepare our students for a life of citizenship and leadership. Fundamental to our mission is our belief that students have the right to protest peacefully about issues of concern to them,” writes Dane. “Students who are disciplined for engaging responsibly in exercising their rights and freedoms would not have their chances of admission compromised or their admissions revoked.”

  15. We disrupt academic learning for all sorts of things like pep rallies and fire drills. It becomes a bit of a sticky wicket when a public school decides to promote one side of a political agenda. I don’t see many school supported protests or rallies for agendas right of center.

  16. I’ve been teaching Social Studies for a long time, and always tell my students I’m an avowed Republicrat. I take no side on most issues to encourage open dialog in class. On this one though, I’m taking a public stand with the students. Joy hit upon a number of things that I and other teachers will do, but in addition, I endorse a little public demonstration here. Thoughts and prayers are lovely, but insufficient. Our politicians won’t face the gun problem, with is a major part of the challenge of school and community safety. Enough is enough- it’s time to make it known that vast numbers of us are ready for real change, including a reassessment of America’s gun obsession. And yes, I’ve heard of the 2nd amendment.
    This is more than a political issue, and not one that should be viewed as left or right. It’s a demonstration of support for the families affected by this tragedy and a statement that we as a nation must do better.

  17. Edugator. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation. Allow me to cordially engage.
    What is the “gun problem” that you are referring to? I would like to better understand the problem you are trying to solve by “real change” and the “reassessment of America’s gun obsession”.
    I’ll preface our quest to define the problem by saying more guns do not result in a higher homicide rate. Compared to countries like Russia, Venezuela, and Mexico, the United States has an exceedingly higher number of guns per capita, yet a lower homicide rate. Switzerland is a nation of about 8 million and is armed to the teeth, with an estimated 2 million guns in circulation while also having limited gun legislation.

  18. Priscilla Cole, Principal, Dunwoody High School

    Good afternoon parents,
    In response to student interest in participating in the March 14th walk-out, we are prepared to monitor and provide supervision for all students. I am working with student leaders, staff, our school police officer, and campus security to have a plan in place to ensure the safety of all students whether they are participating or not participating in the walk-out. The logistics of the day will be aligned with the district’s expectations that were sent to parents on February 22, 2018. Please see the attached document that outlines the district’s expectations.
    To clarify, we are not requiring or mandating any students to participate or to choose sides. However, we are putting safety plans in place for students who will participate and students who will not participate. Students who will not participate will remain inside of the building in their classrooms. As we continue to explore all ideas and concerns, our first priority is the safety of all students. Thank you for your continuous support of DHS.
    A message from the DeKalb County School District superintendentCEO – Student protest.pdf
    Priscilla Cole, Ed. S.
    Principal, Dunwoody High School

  19. Rebecca Burnett

    sent via Facebook
    Something needs to change. If this gets attention, I applaud the students for taking action. If I was still teaching I’d march with them. It’s 17 minutes for lives that were lost. The politicians are wimping out. How many more students and teachers have to die?

  20. Jennifer Hicks-Tiberia

    I would like to know if my child is not walking out and the teacher does who is then left to watch over the kids who choose to stay behind or will the teacher make them walk out as well?

  21. William Blackwood

    Look at the conditions applied in Switzerland to the possession of 7.62 mm combat rifles by military-age males (regs extend to ammo as well). Then juxtapose that with the part of the 2nd Amendment so often elided out these days, the bit about “a well-regulated militia.” In Switzerland, you cannot just go out and buy a military-grade 5.56 mm weapon that, in close quarters especially, is even more lethal than the state-sanctioned weapons you will find in most Swiss households with males in the appropriate age range.

  22. Hey William, Are you suggesting that the type of firearms sold is the problem? What conditions are you referring to that the Swiss apply?

  23. Sarah Merkle

    I’ve been really impressed by the high level of planning and communication from Henderson Middle’s PTA, including that teachers will not leave the classrooms and that parents are invited to stand across the street to monitor kids and make sure they don’t leave. Clearly lots of thoughtful planning and coordination between PTA and school leadership to try to address potential concerns and issues while allowing students to peacefully assemble if they want to.

  24. Not sure the US should ever be compared to Venezuela, Mexico or Russia with regard to anything. How about Western Europe, Australia, Japan, nations where murder rates are a fraction of ours? Our gun problem…if I’m reading things right, fewer people own guns, but those who own them own lots. No other developed nation does the mass shootings the way we do, nor does any other first world nation see road rage shoot-outs and family gun battles the way we do.
    Bottom line- we pride ourselves in our freedom, but are becoming prisoners in our homes, schools, workplaces, cars etc… in a society where armed self defense is increasingly presented as the only way to preserve this “freedom.” I believe we can hope for more, and the students leading this fight are on the right track. Let’s start by eliminating the weapons like those used in Las Vegas and Parkland. Then maybe we can begin to examine the difficult social changes we need to make.
    Glad to see so many schools are preparing effective responses to the events proposed for March 14.

  25. Good discussion Edugator.
    A study of global mass-shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 by the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by economist John Lott, shows the U.S. doesn’t lead the world in mass shootings. In fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10, when measured by death rate per million population from mass public shootings.
    Here’s the list of the 18 countries with the top death rate per million people from mass public shootings from 2009 through 2015:
    1. Norway: 1.888
    2. Serbia: 0.381
    3. France: 0.347
    4. Macedonia: 0.337
    5. Albania: 0.206
    6. Slovakia: 0.185
    7. Switzerland: 0.142
    8. Finland: 0.132
    9. Belgium: 0.128
    10. Czech Republic: 0.123
    11. United States: 0.089
    12. Austria: 0.068
    13. The Netherlands: 0. 051
    14. Canada: 0.032
    15. England: 0.027
    16. Germany: 0.023
    17. Russia: 0.012
    18. Italy: 0.009
    Norway’s rate is highest because of the massacre in 2011 when a mass shooter killed 77 people.

  26. Rebecca Burnett

    Shootings are symptomatic of deeper issues for sure. Why are young people resorting to such measures? Reasonable gun restrictions are a start but it doesn’t address the why. I would have never imagined that I would have to worry about someone shooting my children when I sent them to school. We are the adults and we should be the ones marching to say… enough is enough. Schools should be the safest places in our country. We need to identify and get help for the individuals that resort to such violence. And make sure they don’t have easy access to weapons. I pray that students will not just march but also seek to make a change to the way they relate to each other. Put money into more counselors and social workers who can maybe address the issues that lead to culture as a solution to bullying, social isolation, or emotional instability? I don’t profess to have any answers … all I know is that you and I as adults and parents need to figure this out so our children can focus on learning and life.

  27. Thank you Rebecca. Appreciate your thoughts.
    Not sure that per capita death rate is a stat worth using. How about frequency of events? How about one is too often? We can do better than death stats.

  28. We all want safe schools. All sane people deplore murder. All honest people understand that kids have 1st Amendment rights to protest/assemble. People can believe all of those things AND still disagree on, the best way to keep students safe, lower the rates of gun violence, and how best to allow students to express their opinions of the subject of the gun violence and safety in schools. It seems to me that Cobb and Gwinnett, both with diverse student populations, have gotten this one right. It is especially telling that those districts where the style of protest is more important than the substance of learning, consistency, and safety are precisely those districts with lower achievement levels and higher levels of school violence.

  29. Pravda,
    Well said!
    I don’t know what I’d do if I was a student now. But I believe that a protest that doesn’t cost anything is not worth as much as a protest that exacts a cost on the protester, but the protester willingly pays the cost because the issue is so important.

  30. Math is real, yo!

    Hey Stan – some people don’t participate in your math. Wakanda forever!

  31. Bill Armstrong

    You know what I keep thinking when I read threads like this and watch exchanges on the news & social media – unlike all previous mass shootings in recent memory?
    The “adults” are finally talking and debating and a few are actually working to define the problem and come up with solutions. Might not result in much in the short run, but this is more than ever before.
    Why? The kids. They are the only difference. The kids in Florida and now millions across the country. Our kids.
    And I get the feeling that they’re not giving up. Us grown-ups can pat them on the head & fall back into the same worn out arguments that have been used for decades.
    The kids? They call BS. They’re right.
    You can choose to roll your eyes at these kids & they’re social media silliness. But there are plenty of “grown ups” who rely on it daily as well – including our President.
    Right now the NRA has 621K followers on Twitter. Emma Gonzalez has 1.2 million. And I’m pretty sure virtually all of those started following her in the last 26 days. Myself included.
    It’s the kids. And you want to stop a 17 minute walkout? Because the adults make the rules?
    Thank God for these kids.

  32. Bill, I dont think anyone said they want to stop the kids from walking out. There are plenty of kids who don’t agree. We should listen to them too, don’t you think? Agreeing with two, larger school districts with better track records all around, on how to handle this isn’t out of the mainstream. Creating another way to express deeply held beliefs rather than stop school might be something to consider.
    The walk out is going to happen in DeKalb. Ok. I support their doing so even if I think there is a better way. We need to listen to students who opppse the walk out too. Their voices should not be marginalized.
    I do wonder where this could go if we overlook policy and student Code with this one. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have this walk out. Not at all. Just pointing out that the District will be presented with alternative views about many topics. What about a walk out to protest the millions of children killed in the womb? What about a protest to bring prayer into the classroom? If one walk out is supported contrary to policy and conduct code, seems like causes as noble as protecting life in the womb should be respected and supported as vigorously. We are going down an interesting path. . Just recognize with equal respect that many kids don’t agree with the walk out. Hear them too. Just know that kids have other sacred causes they want to pursue with walk outs. They should demand and receive the same latitude about their passions.

  33. Debbie Montgomery

    sent via Facebook
    Best thing I did for my kids is keep them home and teach them logic and how to think for themselves. They would roll their eyes at the kids walking out.
    How will a student walk out solve anything? Foolishness. These kids do need to value life and learn empathy. A protest will not accomplish that!
    They should be learning to read write, arithmetic (learn critical thinking and history) does not exist in public education. Instead, our highly paid administrators are accommodating protests. I would take my kids out of school.

  34. Bill Armstrong

    “How will a student walk out solve anything? Foolishness. These kids do need to value life and learn empathy. A protest will not accomplish that!”
    Well, I beg to differ, and I suspect many in our history would agree. Americans have been protesting since before they were “Americans” – going back to our founding fathers, the Revolutionary War and before.
    And it wasn’t just the Boston Tea Party. Millions protested for various causes throughout the 20th century, and combined with other efforts brought great change to out great nation.
    Are you saying it doesn’t count because they’re “just kids?” Many seem to say so. If this was all they were doing, then maybe so. But this is FAR beyond that. But using these efforts to bring more attention to a cause is something people have been doing, and with today’s social media – it’s smart.
    So, exactly what is this walkout? I figured it couldn’t hurt to post this here, I suspect some could benefit from reading it It’s from CNN, so being “main stream media” invalidates it to some. But I think it’s a decent summary.
    What is it?
    The nationwide protest is both a memorial and protest action. Students and teachers across the United States will walk out of their schools and universities to honor the lives of the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas and press lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws, according to EMPOWER, the group organizing the action.
    Among their demands, participants want Congress to:
    • Ban assault weapons
    • Require universal background checks before gun sales
    • Pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior
    When is it?
    The walkout will take place on Wednesday, March 14, at 10 a.m. local time, and last for 17 minutes to honor the lives of those killed at Stoneman Douglas.
    Who’s participating?
    The walkout is open to American students, teachers and staff. But the idea originated with EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March, and it’s the main national voice encouraging people to participate. The organization’s website says more than 2,500 walkouts are planned.
    EMPOWER is facilitating the walkout by providing local student organizers with tool kits to help them get started. The kits include a step-by-step guide to organizing a walkout, sample letters to administrators to request permission to participate and an explanation of students’ rights.
    The organizers have asked anyone not affiliated with a school to stay away from the walkouts, citing safety concerns. Otherwise, folks who want to express solidarity with the students should wear orange or walk out of their workplaces for 17 minutes, EMPOWER says.
    How are schools reacting?
    Many schools are allowing students to walk out of class for the 17 minutes and are providing additional security to ensure the actions are organized and safe.
    However, some schools have forbidden participation, citing safety concerns and objections to disrupting class time.
    Meanwhile, others are trying to strike a balance between interrupting the educational process and recognizing students’ desires and rights to participate in civil discourse.
    Can students be punished?
    Students could face disciplinary action if they join the walkout without the permission of school administrators. Schools have threatened to slap students with unexcused absences, docked grades or suspensions if they choose to join the walkout. Some school districts that originally took that stance have since backed off and have tried to compromise.
    The Needville Independent School District in Texas said several weeks ago that anyone participating in walkouts or protests would be suspended for three days.
    READ: Before you walk out, know your rights
    What are students’ rights?
    While students do have a First Amendment right to protest, those whose schools forbid participation in the walkout could still legitimately face consequences.
    Vera Eidelman, a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, said schools could punish students if they miss class, even if they’re joining the walkout. “But what the school can’t do,” Eidelman said, “is discipline students more harshly because they are walking out to express a political view or because school administrators don’t support the views behind the protest.”
    Basically, the punishment students receive can’t be any worse than what they would have otherwise received for skipping class on any other day.
    What’s next?
    After the walkout, student activists and their supporters will turn their attention to the “March for Our Lives” protest planned for Saturday, March 24. The main event will be held in Washington, with satellite marches planned across the United States and overseas.
    “March for Our Lives” was started by survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and aims to pressure Congress to pass stricter gun control laws.
    The Network for Public Education has called for another observance to take place on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. The organization is calling for people to take their own action to bring attention to school safety on a “National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools.”

  35. Thad Mayfield

    sent via Facebook
    Other than leveraging a relevant, current civics teachable moment, how is it any more disruptive or precedent setting than a special assembly, special visitor, or off campus field trip?

  36. Debbie Montgomery

    sent via Facebook
    I see zero benefits to a walkout/ protest. What would be beneficial time on this subject would be to have a student assembly and have speakers with different points view present the problem and potential solutions with ramifications of both. This way the kids’ would actually learn something.

  37. BLM students were only allowed to protest before or after school. It’s not equitable to accommodate this student protest during school. What about when the pro life students want to stage a walk out to protest the killing of innocent life in the womb? Will the school district protect their First Amendment rights without consequences?

  38. Rouchelle Longley

    sent via Facebook
    Teachers should NOT be allowed to participate in protests in school property during school hours. Shame on DeKalb for abandoning policy. Why even have policy if only to put it aside?

  39. Melinda Ward

    sent via Facebook
    Sorry Stan Jester but this rally isn’t about that.. and like I said before until a person had lost a child to gun violence not anyone could possibly Understand what it is to bury you own child. I lost my daughter 10 years ago to gun violence and I support this when is the shootings going to stop.
    The young man whose name was Michael Brandon Hill who in August 2013 came into the DeKalb County school Ronald McNair Discovery learning academy with a AK-47 AND 500 ROUNDS a good friend of mine her 3 kids were there and she didn’t know if she would ever see them again so until anyone who had ever been in any of these situations you couldn’t possibly understand what this walk out means SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE

  40. Hello Melinda. I am deeply sorry to hear about your daughter. I can’t imagine what you went through. There is a special place in hell for people who take the lives of innocent children. I am a huge advocate of legislation that would affect gun violence in a meaningful way. I just don’t understand why this rally has to take place during school hours. It’s a violation of board policy and the student code of conduct.

  41. Melinda Ward

    Teachers and students are dying over these school SHOOTINGS so why shouldn’t they participate?

  42. Debbie Montgomery

    Melinda Ward, “During School Hours!” They should be doing their job- teaching; students should be learning– not protesting.

  43. Bill Armstrong

    “students should be learning – not protesting.” I would submit that many (certainly not all) students will learn more in the coming weeks and months about the workings of our government than much of what they learn in a classroom. They’ll be applying what they learned in the classroom to these real life efforts, and their participation in these real world events will inform there classroom studies more than most things they would ever do while still in high school. Not to mention all the organizational, networking & communication skills they are learning. Some will go on to careers doing something based on these times.
    I think Stan has essentially agreed that class time is lost for many things that might distract from learning & are not an issue. It seems his concern, and of many here, is based more on it being political – a potential slippery slope – not equitable – what about other protest requests – abortion and the like, in the schools, during school hours. Please correct me if I’m wrong, or putting words in mouths.
    I’ll simply say this has its roots, it clear basis, from a SCHOOL shooting. Their peers in Florida died, in SCHOOL. As they walk out they will be using SCHOOL halls similar to those where kids were killed & injured – in SCHOOL. They will go through SCHOOL doors similar to those the killer went through, and students fled, in a Florida SCHOOL. This will be happening during SCHOOL hours, just like the SCHOOL shooting did. Then they will return to their SCHOOL classrooms, perhaps survey them, reflect, talk, & even make simple eye contact with their fellow SCHOOL students.
    Yes, their stated goals would impact potential shootings other than schools, in every situation imaginable. But for them, what motivated them was a SCHOOL shooting. They watched cell phone videos, read tweets & texts by other students, during a SCHOOL shooting. People on the floors, under desks, locked in closets, in SCHOOL. Certainly you saw the videos, read the texts, while we might can’t fully understand what it really felt to be on the floors, seeing & hearing what they did, certainly it’s a window into that horror. Real horror, in SCHOOL, not a movie, not a haunted house. How hard is to understand the idea of a walkout during SCHOOL hours, in their own SCHOOL, makes sense to them.
    Oh year, it’s also part tribute, it’s 17 minutes long. Why? Because 17 kids got killed. In SCHOOL.
    I don’t know what else to say.

  44. I don’t understand why they can’t have this protest before or after school.

  45. Thanks to Bill Armstrong for clarifying the rationale for this demonstration of support for the students in Florida and the need for rational limits on guns.
    We just completed the brief walkout at Chamblee MS. Most students and faculty both participated, and they did it correctly. The entire event took no more than 25 minutes, certainly more valuable than spending time reviewing for Milestones testing.
    I’ve taught for a long time, and have seen student led demonstrations on three occasions- once to support the hostages in Iran, once after 911, and today. I am not saying this is comparable to the world changing tragedy of 911, but these students feel deeply that America can and must do better. They’re right.
    I stand with the students on this. This was school time properly spent.

  46. Rational limits on guns … common sense gun control … OK … what is the goal for those actions? What is it we are trying to accomplish by imposing said limits or control?

  47. Bill Armstrong

    Thanks for the post Edugator. My son goes to Chamblee Middle & my daughter to Chamblee High so I’m interested to get their take on today’s events when I see them tonight. We’ve been talking with them, asking Qs, but more important: listening to them. The kids want to express themselves, to their peers and the adults. We should be listening, and ultimately acting. And I’m acting with them instead of against them. Many are & more will join.
    Almost as important as their own personal reports will be what they are saying & seeing on social media: Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat, as the interplay of thoughts & ideas in those avenues is usually a pretty good window into the lives of today’s youth, for good & bad.

  48. Aside from law enforcement guns are not allowed at “SCHOOL”. I don’t think we can have a more strict gun policy at “SCHOOL”. Therefore, any other gun legislation you’re looking for is not just at “SCHOOL”. So, the argument that this is just a SCHOOL conversation doesn’t hold water. I still don’t understand why we couldn’t have these protests before or after school like all the other protests.

  49. Adrienne Duncan

    Is there a policy anywhere about political parties organizing student activities, especially protests?
    The “Womens March” group claimed responsibility for organizing today’s protests.
    Do you get a feeling that DeKalb supported it because it was organized by a left-leaning political org?
    More questions that came to mind:
    Is this protest endorsed by parents because parents are encouraging the political ideology? Is the gun debate just an excuse to stage another left-leaning political activity?
    Why did this protest get a blessing to occur during school, while Black Lives Matter was organized before school hours?
    Is Womens March was not involved in organizing, would these local students have walked out of class on their own? Is the outrage originating spontaneously in our local students or did it come from parents who are active in Womens March and similar political groups?
    Things that make you go hmmmmmmm……..

  50. Bill Armstrong

    Stan, I’m pointing out that schools were the right location for this simple walkout because it is tied to the school shooting – 1 month anniversary & 17 minutes. Clearly it’s not just a school conversation. But the venue of a school – and during school hours, it makes sense to me. The images of kids coming out of a school for this reason, other than fleeing a shooting – will resonate for many.
    Hey! Maybe doing it during school is a way to prove they’re not “crisis actors.”
    Adrienne, if you think these kids are only doing this because they are being pushed by their parents perhaps you should talk to a few. Those who are so quick to discount the intellect and question the motivation of this generation of kids are making a huge mistake. This isn’t going away. You’re getting tired of seeing them on TV? They are getting tired of seeing many of the “grown-ups” on TV saying more of the same and doing more of the nothing. And it turns out many of their parents are too, it is now taking this to get many re-engaged. Thanks kids, some of us could use a kick in the butt. We aren’t putting them up to it, they’re forcing us to remember we can make a difference. Here’s something to watch this year – voting rates for the 18-34s for the midterms. And by 2020 – they’ll be a couple more year’s worth.
    Looking forward to watching the news tonight.

  51. Bill, You were pointing out why schools are a good location to have a rally/protest in response to the school shooting and why schools are not a good location for abortion, illegal immigration and other issues. Or … did I misread what you said, and you agree that a group of students has the right to shut down school for 17 minutes to protest illegal immigration?
    I was pointing out that the rally demands as you noted (Ban assault weapons, Require universal background checks before gun sales, Pass a gun violence restraining order law) is as global an issue as illegal immigration or abortion.
    I don’t understand why this rally/protest couldn’t be held before or after school.
    Adrienne … I’m working on a response to your thoughts.

  52. Stan
    My comments are in no way meant to criticize your son. A while ago your son felt it was his right to wear a shirt. You stated that he understood the meaning. Even though some people tried to say, that he was promoting your feelings. You supported the rights of your son.
    I feel it is not right for people to discount the feelings and understanding of these students.
    Also, parents have the right to support their children. I am comparing these two situations because, just as your child understood these children also understand. There were people who said your son should have just not worn the shirt to school. It was his right to do it.
    The students had the right to protest today. The shootings are happening at school during the school day.

  53. Hello Joy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.
    Parkland was a tragedy. I don’t believe anybody is discounting their feelings. Please let me know if somebody is discounting their feelings.
    I don’t believe anybody is saying that parents don’t have the right to support these children. I support their right to express their feelings. But, they are not permitted to break the law, board policy or school codes to do so.
    It is against board policy and the student code of conduct to disrupt school. Dunwoody HS shut down all academics for this rally. My son wore a t-shirt to school and caused no disruptions at all.
    Question: Are you suggesting that my son has the right to shut down all academics during the school day for a rally to protest Fake News?
    Why couldn’t this rally have been done before or after school? Or, like my son, just wear a t-shirt.

  54. No. People say that the students do not understand. I am saying students do understand.
    When people feel strongly about a cause and take a stand, it is sometimes not the time that others may think is best.
    The time was chosen based on the time that the shooting occurred.
    I was not trying to attack or criticize your family.
    Even though children are young, they understand many complex things.

  55. Adrienne,
    I don’t believe there is a board policy about other organizations organizing the student protests. DeKalb supports this movement for two reasons: 1) Left leaning agenda 2) More funding for schools
    I can’t speak for all parents, but I can say many parents are feeling a much higher level of anxiety about the safety of their children. I’m sure plenty of parents are ideologically aligned with the “Women’s March”.
    I see a large push from the media. They are whipping up a frenzy and probably getting good ratings. I say this because I don’t see quotes and interviews from the students that don’t support the legislative agenda that Women’s March supports.

  56. Hello Joy, I don’t take your comments as critical. This is a productive conversation.
    I’m sure the students understand how they feel and why they feel what the feel. I do not believe most of them understand (or are even aware of) any legislative demands and their implications.
    Whatever the timing is, it does not permit them to break the law. Besides, this protest was about gun control legislation. If it was just about the Parkland students, we would have stopped for a moment of silence at 10am and resumed class.
    If there was an abortion scheduled for 10am tomorrow morning, would students be permitted to shut down school at 10am for a Pro Life rally?

  57. WSB TV 2 is reporting that DeKalb Schools Superintendent Green says “there are dozens of threats the district has investigated since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.” … 59 to be exact at the time.

  58. Bill Armstrong

    Stan. Just trying to be clear here.
    Looking back at the original post the question seemed to be allowing it to happen w/o discipline. It = the walkout during school hours. But it seems to evolved into a debate on the merits & for some whether an outside organized being involved in coordinating the event is an issue. Also some think the students are doing the bidding of adults.
    My point has been school is a logical place for this – it wasn’t a march it was a walkout. It’s not something they invented – it’s been done before.
    But that doesn’t satisfy – agree to disagree.
    So back to square 1. A walkout – during school, but without discipline – that’s your only objection – correct?
    Now – If the same thing happened nationwide – still coordinated, local authorities notified – approx 3000 schools 10s – 100s of thousands of kids, walked out of school did the same thing – 17 min. of speaches, signs, songs, poems, etc. & walked back in, no leaving campus, no violence, no destruction of property – and they accepted a uniform & preannounced discipline – say 1 day suspension, you have no problem?
    Schools nationwide handle the same way some have – you better not do this or we will suspend you for a day, and 250,000 say “cool, do what you’ve gotta do – see you in 17 minutes” as some did today, and the schools did suspend them all – we aren’t even having this discussion?

  59. Bill, I think we’re generally on the same page. I had a hard time following some of your points. My response …
    Original post was about what various metro atl school districts are doing for the protest and the potential precedent they are setting. I agree, school campus is an ideal location for this event.
    I have some objections to various points related to this story that I haven’t mentioned. Any student that gets up in the middle of class and walks around the school for half an hour should be disciplined. It doesn’t matter if 3,000 other schools have students doing the same thing. I refer to the expression, “If you friends jump off a bridge …”
    I’m not aware of any school districts refusing to have a discussion.

  60. Sorry I’ve been away- that whole day job gets in the way.
    The students, at least those in Chamblee HS/MS, did the right thing for the right reasons. They were willing to accept punishment if necessary to make the point that change is needed. This isn’t a liberal/conservative agenda issue, this is a statement that we cannot continue on our present course. More guards, high-tech locks, armed teachers- these are not long term solutions. Any plan that doesn’t include some limitation on firearms is short-sighted and insufficient. Our students deserve better.
    This is an issue that makes sense to a kid sitting in a desk in class. The school day is the correct time for this statement to be made.

  61. Bill Armstrong

    Sorry – I tend to type too much. Q. If these walkouts happened as they did & every student did so knowing they would be disciplined – not sanctioned or excused by a single school system, they would do the same for any protest regardless of cause, all get punished equally, then you don’t have a problem?

  62. Bill Armstrong

    Edugator. My kids came home having learned something for sure. My CMS 8th grader said they went to the gym more assembly style. More of a remermbverance than protest. But they are certainly aware of the bigger picture. My CCHS 10th grader had the true walkout & really got something from it – I think. She texted some cell pics – not selfies – they were of signs, handwritten by the kids, not printed by some outside organization. This walkout did belong to the kids. Signs were insightful and not inappropriate in wording. I was glad to hear our neighborhood pool lifeguard made some nice comments – things were not vulgar. let’s hope hew never has to guard lives in school. But knowing him – if faced with the choice he would. Can you imagine if we had such considerations in our youth? Proud of the children of Chamblee today. I take it you still teach there? Thanks.

  63. Dekalb County Schools Stink

    That’s not what I heard, Bill. I heard the Chamblee High students weren’t taking it seriously and a number of them had to be disciplined by the administrators. Did you really think that they all would have taken it seriously?
    And what about safety? Everyone in the country knew that tens of thousands of kids would be leaving their classrooms at exactly 10:17. How smart was it for Chamblee High administrators to just put the kids right there out on Chamblee Dunwoody Road? They could have been sitting ducks! Someone didn’t think about the safety of the kids. Nope, they were blinded into this fallacy that they were recreating the civil rights movement. Not smart.

  64. Bill Armstrong

    DCS stinks. All – no. But I know plenty who were there with the right motivation & behavior.
    Sitting ducks outside the school? Why? Do you mean someone would shoot them? And yesterday more than in a few minutes when school let’s out?
    Who? A well-regulated militia?
    Certainly a reasonable & responsible gun owner would do no such thing, especially with a gun they legally bought.
    Perhaps that ties into the motivation of the Walkout. It’s not just that they feel unsafe in their schools, but in many places, maybe churches & nightclubs. Thus the effort to address gun violence in & out of school.

  65. Mr Jester,
    Did the DCSD ever hire a head for the school police department? If so, who is it?
    Thank you.

  66. Yes. Bradley Gover … this is his bio …
    Director Bradley Gober has been with the DeKalb County School District Department of Public Safety for 16 years, bringing 22 years of law enforcement experience with him. Director Gober holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, and has more than 2,900 hours of Advanced P.O.S.T. Training, which includes Management and Supervision.
    Gober started his law enforcement career as a graduate of the Georgia State Patrol 69th Trooper School. After graduation, he was assigned to POST 37 Lawrenceville where he worked before being accepted into the elite “Night Hawk Task Force” unit. Gober accepted a position with the Doraville Police Department, where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He worked as the Supervisor of Uniform Patrol, Undercover Drug Reversal, prostitution stings, and was a member of the SWAT Team. Later on, he worked with Zone #3 “Weed and Seed” with the Cobb County Police Department.
    In 2001, Gober started with DeKalb County School District’s Department of Public Safety. He worked as a School Resource Officer before being promoted to a Detective within the Criminal Investigation Division. He was in charge of Internal Affairs, and was a founder of the Emergency Response Team. He was later promoted to Lieutenant, where he served as second in command before being selected as the Interim Director. In 2017, he received his final promotion to become the Director of Public Safety.

  67. This is what our state elected officials had to say …
    Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the GOP frontrunner for governor:

    “I support the First Amendment as strongly as I do the Second. Democracy is sometimes messy and protests are disruptive by design. But as Americans, we’ve kept a pact that the freedom of expression is sacred. If we’re to keep that pact for future generations, we must show tolerance for views we disagree with, and protesters should act with safety and civility in mind. We all share the goal of keeping our schools safe.”

    Secretary of State Brian Kemp:

    “As governor, I will respect the U.S. Constitution and defend – without hesitation – our 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights. To keep students safe in the classroom, we need local solutions – not a top down mandate from state government. I support arming teachers, employing veterans as security officers, and using technology to identify and stop threats but the decision rests with local school boards, administrators, and parents.”

    Former state Sen. Hunter Hill:

    “These decisions are rightly being made at the local level. However, students are in school to learn and prepare themselves to enter the workforce or go to college – not make political statements that take away time from their education and burden our teachers, principals, and law enforcement officers. I believe Cobb, Fulton, and Gwinnett County schools are correct in disciplining students who choose this course of action.”

  68. And now I see three candidates I won’t be supporting.

  69. Mr Jester
    There was no HR Report listed in the BOE Agenda. It is hard to understand why it is so difficult for this report to be included in the BOE information. Please help. Parents, staff, students and the community have the right to know this information. With all the hiring concerns, this does nothing to assure us that good hiring decisions are being made by our school district.

  70. Please post the HR report