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National school walkouts: What Colorado districts are planning

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DENVER — Students across the country are expected to walk out of their classrooms Wednesday morning to protest gun violence.

The national school walkout is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in every time zone and last for 17 minutes — a minute for each life lost in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

Several Colorado school districts plan on participating in the event.

Adams 12 Five Star Schools

“School administration has worked with students who wish to participate in a student-led walkout/demonstration to help them focus the conversation on what the students are attempting to accomplish with a demonstration, while ensuring student safety,” wrote Christina Dahmen, communications manager.

“In the event students want to leave class to participate in a student-led demonstration, they will be allowed to do so and we will follow our normal policies regarding student attendance,” Superintendent Chris Gdowski wrote to parents Tuesday. “Any students leaving school grounds will not be supervised by school or district staff.”

Adams 12 school policies will be as follows:

  • Elementary and Middle School parents should follow normal student checkout procedures should their student be leaving school. Students cannot leave the school without a parent/guardian checking the student out of the building.
  • At High Schools, regular attendance will be taken and parents wishing to excuse their student’s absence should follow the school’s published attendance policy.

Boulder Valley School District

“Students across the nation, and at several BVSD schools, have indicated that they intend to participate in the national walkout,” wrote Boulder Valley School District Superintendent Cindy Stevenson in a letter to parents Monday. “Boulder Valley School District believes in allowing students the opportunity to express themselves while also ensuring their safety.

“It is important to us that our students learn to be independent, critical thinkers who contribute to a democratic society in a positive way. We also understand that students may have differing opinions about the walkout and the issues surrounding the event. BVSD is working to ensure any student-led demonstrations and student-led counter demonstrations are carried out in a safe, peaceful and respectful manner that does not infringe upon the rights and safety of others.”

Broomfield High School

Students at Broomfield High School will be walking out of school at 10 AM on this day (Wednesday, March 14th) and will march to the George Di Ciero City and County Building. We will peacefully protest here until 11:30 AM and then we will walk back to the high school. While it is, of course, your own decision as to whether or not you return to classes for the rest of the day, we encourage you to continue the#ENOUGH movement with us the remainder of the day. Students who choose to participate will sit outside of Broomfield High School until 3 PM after returning from the march.

During this time, students can write letters to Congress urging them to take action to keep schools safe. By taking a seat, we are making a statement and taking a stand. We ask teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders, and community members to join Broomfield High School and the Women’s March in this event. Everyone who chooses to be involved must agree to uphold the Women’s March values of inclusive, non-violence, and the Unity Principles (

Wear all ORANGE (color for movement) to show solidarity and make signs for the day of the event! If you choose not to participate in the walkout/ protest, you can still support the cause by calling or writing Congress and by wearing orange. Let’s use our voices and our votes to create positive change and to tell our leaders #ENOUGH

Cherry Creek School District

In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, students across the country are organizing demonstrations and walkouts in protest of school violence. The Cherry Creek School District is aware that some of our students may be planning to participate in walkouts locally, including the National School Walkout Day planned for March 14. Indeed, some of our students have already participated in small-scale walkouts related to the Parkland tragedy.

In Cherry Creek Schools, we respect the right of our students to exercise their First Amendment rights and express their opinions. Engaging in peaceful protest and advocating for a cause can be a powerful learning experience for students. We also recognize that our students hold a diverse range of views and some may not want to participate in a walkout. It is our responsibility to ensure all students feel safe and respected, no matter their viewpoint.

We want you to know that the Cherry Creek School District does not endorse or host walkouts, nor does the district endorse any particular viewpoint or advocacy group. Our main concern with any potential student walkout is safety. To that end, principals are working with student leaders to create “safe zones” for students if they choose to participate. Our understanding is that the walkout planned for March 14 is expected to last 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.

Should a walkout occur, we will deploy school staff as necessary to maintain student safety. We also want to note that elementary school students will NOT be allowed to leave the building unless signed out by a parent.

We encourage you to talk with your student about these events and about important issues including school safety. We must work together – students, parents, guardians, teachers, staff, families and community members – to ensure that schools are safe places for students to learn, grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

If you have any questions or concerns about potential walkouts, please contact your child’s principal.

Denver Public Schools

Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design, Denver School of the Arts, East High School and North High School all plan to walk out at 10am tomorrow and March to the State Capitol.

Centennial Elementary is providing students with cloth strips for students write/draw on these cloth strips they ways that they demonstrate WoRLD CARE (wonder, responsibility, leadership determination, compassion, advocacy, respect and empathy). Students will then tie these cloth strips onto the fence surrounding the school garden throughout the day.

DCIS Baker Middle School and High School students are participating in a “sit out” on the field around the perimeter of the school for 17 minutes. All students will walk outside the school building at 10 a.m., together with their 6th period class and teacher.

Students at Merrill Middle School will host a “walk in” consisting of 17 minutes of silence followed by a student led presentation on how to promote positivity and protection in our schools.

At Northfield High School, there will be a scheduled student walkout at 10 a.m. Students will gather in the courtyard and reading off the names of those killed in Florida. Students will discuss gun control, more mental health support in schools and creating an inclusive school environment. There will be a gun safety town hall tomorrow night with former state senator Mike Johnston from 6-7:30 p.m.

DSST Public Schools

Schools expected to participate include Green Valley Ranch middle and high school, Strive Rise, Strive Middle School, Vista Academy, DSST Byers and DSST Stapleton middle and high schools.

Jefferson County Public Schools

Jeffco Public Schools acknowledges some of our students, staff, and families may want to participate in walkout events in some capacity. We will respect the rights of our students, staff, and families – those who may want to participate and those who may not. Jeffco Public Schools is directing school leaders to communicate with their school community and discuss any plans. It is important everyone understands that student action will be respected, but safety and order must be maintained and the expectation is for the school day to proceed as usual.

What we expect:
It will vary by school, but we expect a typical day at school with some middle and high school students choosing to walkout at 10 a.m. Other students will remain in class. Students who walk out will be supervised for safety and encouraged to stay on school grounds and return to class after 17 minutes. Some schools may opt for alternatives to a walkout, such as 17 seconds of silence.

Columbine High School:
Student leaders have shared they plan to walkout at 10 a.m., stay on school grounds, listen to student speakers for 17 minutes, then return to class. Students that choose not to participate will stay in class.

Littleton Public Schools

The walkouts will be closed to the public and surrounded by a heightened law enforcement presence.

High schools have open campuses, making widespread walkouts likely. The district’s middle schools will allow students outside for 17 minutes under close supervision, and elementary schools will not allow students outside unless properly signed out and escorted by a parent or guardian.

“We’re aware there will be an anti-gun sentiment, and that many in our community are firm believers in gun rights,” superintendent Brian Ewert said. “We saw this at the first walkout (on Feb. 21) when some kids were shouting at others around gun rights. We could very well see counter-demonstrations, and we’ll be very careful to ask people what part of the demonstration they’re supporting.

“Part of growing up in America, and particularly at the high school level, is to begin to understand your rights and responsibilities as a citizen of a free and democratic society. It’s our responsibility to facilitate those conversations in schools. We use these opportunities to allow kids to have these debates in a safe and respectful manner. That’s the power of public schools.”

Rock Canyon High School

The main aim of the walkout is to express solidarity towards Parkland, and to increase student advocacy for student safety. Myself and 4 other girls are organizing our schools walkout and we plan to provide a short introduction of our goals, list the names of those who passed on February 14th, and finally use the remaining time to host an open discussion about how the students feel relating to the Parkland tragedy.

In order to focus more on the aspect of fixing school and district related safety issues, we are going to do our best to keep the conversation away from anything political; this is to ensure everyone is heard no matter the side one stands on. I am part of a group of 4 other girls, as I mentioned before, and we call ourselves the Student Safety Alliance; an unofficial, new organization we have developed at our school. Right now, we are actively working with RCHS admin, writing proposals to our school district as well as our representatives/senators in Congress.

Westminster High School

As students across the country hold school walkouts on Wednesday, March 14 to remember the 17 shooting victims from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and advocate for safer schools, students at Westminster High School have come up with their own plan to send a message of solidarity and social awareness.

Students are being encouraged to wear Burgundy and Silver, the colors of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, to school on Wednesday. At 10 a.m. they will gather at the outdoor amphitheater to take a group photo to be sent to the school in Florida. WHS held a similar event in October, 2012 when students wore purple and took a picture in memory of Jessica Ridgeway who was kidnapped and murdered.

During the 17 minutes that follow, students will be encouraged to write letters to their representatives sharing their personal views about school safety and the steps they would like lawmakers to take on their behalf.

“I’m so proud of my students,” said Principal Kiffany Kiewiet. “They came up with this plan on their own as a way to make a meaningful contribution to the debate.”

The group photo will take place at 10 a.m., so media interested in covering the event and talking to students should arrive by 9:45 a.m. to clear security and be in place.

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