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Local Schools Allow Walkouts, But With Restrictions

Dozens of Simon Kenton High School students protested gun violence February 21, 2018 in remembrance of the Florida school shooting.
Dozens of Simon Kenton High School students protested gun violence February 21, 2018 in remembrance of the Florida school shooting.

Colerain High School Principal Jack Fisher doesn't want his 1,900 students leaving the building for a nationwide walkout planned for Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. 

It's too dangerous, he says. "My first responsibility is to keep everybody safe." Instead, he is allowing a "walkout" in the gym where teens can remember the victims of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla. Across the nation, the walkout will last 17 minutes to symbolize the 17 lives lost that day. 

Fisher is not alone in setting up rules. Forest Hills School District told parents of kids at Nagel Middle School and Anderson and Turpin high schools in an email, "Students who wish to participate in walkouts (will) congregate in (the schools') common areas." In addition, "We are working with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department to proactively provide additional supervision."

An email to Fort Thomas parents said Highland Heights students participating in the walkout "will be supervised at all times by HHS faculty. Ft Thomas Police will also be on campus participating in the walkout."

Mason students will demonstrate inside the school's field house.

For Colerain's Fisher, "It was never about suppressing students speech. We're an educational institution. We talk about these things in classrooms. We look for opportunities to educate students and to voice their opinions."  One of those opportunities is the school's "Seventeen Days of Kindness," which leads up to Colerain's spring break. One example of kindness is talk to five people you've never met. Another is writing notes to staff or students.

Not all area schools will walk out at 10:00 a.m. Newport High School students will line the far side of Sixth Street at 8:00 a.m. wearing specially made T-shirts and carrying signs. Principal Kyle Niederman says students will not protest gun violence, instead deciding to focus on the victims. "Hopefully it's going to unite our community and our first responders and hopefully everyone will know we're in this together," he says.

Here is a list of area schools that ActionNetwork.org has listed as participating in the walkout:

  • Anderson High School
  • Badin High School
  • Campbell County High School
  • Centerville High School
  • Conner High School
  • Cooper High School
  • Dater High School
  • Dixie Heights High School
  • Fairfield High School
  • Hamilton High School
  • Highland High School
  • Indian Hill High School
  • Kilgour School
  • Lakota West High School
  • Little Miami High School
  • Mariemont High School
  • Mason High School
  • Nagel Middle School
  • Norwood High School
  • Notre Dame Academy
  • Oak Hills High School
  • Ryle High School
  • Seven Hills School
  • Springboro
  • Sycamore High School
  • Talawanda High School
  • Turpin High School
  • Walnut Hills High School
  • Wayne Local Schools

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