News

Honoring Parkland victims at CPHS

In response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, a group of students at Crown Point High School have organized a meeting to take place this Wednesday, in tandem with the National School Walkout.

 

What is the National School Walkout and how are schools handling it?

Wednesday, Mar. 14 will be the one month anniversary of the mass shooting that killed 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The nationwide walkout will be both a memorial to the victims and a call for action. At 10 a.m. local time, schools across the nation will participate in a 17 minute tribute to honor each of the fallen.

Schools nationwide are working to balance student expression and disruption of the school day.

According to information posted on NWITimes.com, Lake Central High School students will be allowed to participate with conditions. Students at Lake Central will have the opportunity to walk into the parking lot if they choose. There will be an increased police presence. Similarly, Munster High School students will be permitted to assemble in the fieldhouse. The names of those killed will be projected on screen in a running loop.

 

Communication from Crown Point High School administration to students and parents:

Over the last several weeks, our administration, faculty and staff have been reviewing safety plans and collaborating with law enforcement on issues pertaining to school safety.  The safety of our students is our first priority.  We recognize that differences of opinions and strong emotions exist within our school community that have been heightened by recent local and national events.  In addition, students have been approaching teachers and administration about how to express their point of view in a safe and respectful way.  We believe that it is important to provide opportunities for students to express their concerns and will continue to ask teachers to explore topics with students related to school safety and advocacy.  Some of our students have indicated that they will be participating in a student-led walkout on Wednesday morning from 10:00-10:17 a.m., as part of a national movement to honor those killed at Parkland High School last month and to protest gun violence.

We believe that walking out of school is a disruption to the educational process and presents unique challenges from a student safety standpoint.  Therefore, CPHS does not promote or support student-led walkouts.  Supporting student walkouts sets a precedent that is counterintuitive to our core mission of teaching and learning.  We are engaging our student leaders and discussing other ways to have their voices heard.  To that end, students will have an opportunity to discuss these issues with their Resource Period teacher on Wednesday morning.  In addition, students will have the option to participate in two different activities in which our student body will collectively work together to send a symbol of hope and healing to the students and staff at Parkland High School in Florida and/or write their Congressman or State Representative to express their feelings about school safety.

We also understand that decisions regarding daily attendance and student participation in events such as a walkout are personal for each student and family.  Our hope is that this information will be helpful to you as your family talks about advocacy and the ways in which students can make their voices heard on important topics.  Classes will go on Wednesday morning and we will follow student attendance procedures outlined in the student handbook.  We will be prepared should a student-led walkout take place and will communicate with student leaders on an agreed upon location to assemble.  If utilized, this location will be supervised by teachers and staff who are not teaching class at this time.  For security reasons, parents, community members, and media will not be permitted on site.  Members of the Crown Point Police Department will be on site to assist with supervision and prevent any traffic from coming-in or out of the school between 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

In summary, we are hopeful that our school community will work together to provide a teachable moment for students about activism and school safety.  We will maintain order and continue to keep teaching and learning in the safest possible environment as our focus.

 

Audrey Gacsy
Audrey Gacsy is a senior at Crown Point High School. She has been involved in the journalism program for four years. As a sophomore, Audrey was inducted into Quill and Scroll, and has been a member since. During her time on staff, Audrey has enjoyed writing stories, selling ads, and editing pages. This year as a Co-editor-in-chief, Audrey is looking forward to helping other staffers grow as journalists and is excited to improve upon her own skills. Outside of journalism, Audrey enjoys being a Scholarship Director for National Honor Society and member of Best Buddies International. She plans to go to college for Accounting and International Finance. Eventually, Audrey aims to practice financial law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *