North Hills joining other districts in planned walkout on Wednesday
The North Hills School District is allowing students to participate in a 17-minute nationwide walkout at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to honor the victims of the recent school shooting in Florida but they won't be let out of their buildings.
“In cooperation with high school student leadership, we are providing a well-supervised, safe and secure area for our high school and middle school students inside their buildings during this time period,” said Superintendent Pat Mannario in a posting on the district's website. “This designated area within the buildings will allow those who would like to pay tribute to and honor those who have lost their lives during the tragic incident in Parkland, Florida, to do so as part of their school day.”
Dubbed the ENOUGH National School Walkout, plans originated with the group EMPOWER, a coalition of organizations led by the youth division of the January 2017 Women's March organizers.
In addition to honoring victims and survivors of gun violence, the group also encourages students to support policy initiatives directed at reducing gun violence, register to vote and share their efforts with local lawmakers.
Mannarino stressed that participation in the walkout is voluntary and that students can stay in their classrooms if they don't want to take part.
Police officers from Ross and West View will be on the North Hills campus during the walkout to provide security.
The superintendent said district officials determined that a walkout “is not developmentally or emotionally appropriate for our elementary students” and decided against allowing students in the lower grades to participate.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.