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RBHS students plan, lead events for National Walk Out Day

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On March 14, Riverside Brookfield High School students will have the option of participating in the National School Walk Out Day in honor of the seventeen victims killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that occured on February 14, 2018.

The walk out was student led and organized by a group of RBHS students who worked with administration to make sure students’ expectations were followed.

“The walk out was completely student led. The  week of the tragedy that happened in Florida about a month ago, students started brainstorming and formulating ideas. I think it’s extremely important it’s student driven because the future is in the hands of the youth and we have the power to bring about change,” said senior Tosi Olowu.

Students met with the administration and participated in a group chat to get the word out about the walk out. For them, the walk out was important in leading it themselves instead of leaving the administration to organize it.

“I think it’s important that it’s student driven in order to show what our ideas are, and that it’s not anyone’s opinion, but that’s it ours and what we want to do. It’s all ours, and we did it all ourselves,” said senior Kaitlin Gaynor.

Gaynor helped organize the walk out and met with administration to formulate a plan.

“We met with Mr. Mannon two weeks ago on a Thursday morning. He and I planned the meeting and then I just talked to a lot of clubs. Also, I told as many people as I could that there was going to be a meeting [and] that they should come. Many kids came, so we formed a group chat with about 50 kids after that,” said Gaynor.

Attendance for the students participating will be waived for third period. Students will not be penalized for participating in the walk out and will have the option of participating or staying in class for third period. Right around 10:00 a.m., students can start walking out towards the football field. They should be back in class by 10:22.

“There will be absolutely no consequence from the dean’s office whatsoever,” said Mannon.

While there will be no consequences from administration for walking out, students who stray away from the expectations of the walk out may face other consequences.

In a letter sent home from principal Kristin Smetana on March 9, it states, “If a student does not meet these behavioral expectations disciplinary consequences may be enforced.”

There will be academic consequences from your 3rd period class if something important is missed. Homework could be turned in before the walk out for points, but unit tests and quizzes must be made up at a later date if you participate in the walk out.

“We asked our instructional coaches not to give any common assessments out that day. As far as unit exams, quizzes, things like that, teachers are going to stay true to [the] instructional day. They’re not going to change anything because of the walk out,” said Mannon.

Students participating in the walk out are encouraged to wear orange in solidarity with MSHS. Students speakers will be giving speeches and students participating will be allowed to bring signs.

“We want to make sure that [students] have a voice and are heard and have an opportunity to [have] that voice on whatever concerns, whatever purpose, whatever goals you have,” said Mannon.

Teachers will be allowed to walk out, but no parents, other adults, or community members will be allowed to participate in the walk out for the safety of students.

“As far as parents and community members coming in, we’re not going to allow that,” said Mannon.

Golf Road will be blocked off for the safety of students as well.

For some students at RBHS, this walk out is important in showing solidarity with MSHS and voicing their opinions on gun violence.

“I think the walk out is a really nice way to show to show the affected high school that we stand with them and support them in this hard time,” said junior Kayla Bocanegra.

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RBHS students plan, lead events for National Walk Out Day