SAN ANTONIO – High school principals in the San Antonio Independent School District plan to help students organize on campus events to protest recent school shootings.
The district released a statement Wednesday regarding walkouts, which are being planned nationwide following the Parkland, Florida, school massacre that claimed the lives of 17 people.
Students across the country have called for protests and walkouts to demand stricter gun control laws, better school security and more services for teens with mental health issues. The movement has grown online, with supporters using #NationalSchoolWalkout.
SAISD high school principals plan to meet with student groups to find out if there are plans to get involved in a walkout, and if there is interest, school officials will assist in the development of "a structured peaceful assembly at a designated location on campus."
Students who plan to walk off campus to protest will get an unexcused absence, the statement said.
Following is the statement in its entirety:
"We respect and support the right of our students to advocate for causes that are important to them. Our high school principals are talking with student groups to determine if there are plans or discussions about wanting to participate in a walkout or other event in solidarity with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and others.
Where there is interest, those high schools will plan a structured peaceful assembly at a designated location on campus.
Our top priority is to support the academic and social emotional needs of our students while maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment for all. Any walkout off campus would be an unexcused absence.
We are also planning for opportunities for discussions at all of our schools about school safety."
North East Independent School District officials last week sent a letter home to parents letting them know that if students walk out of class or skip school, they will receive an unexcused absence."