Students are free to participate in a nationwide walkout Wednesday to protest gun violence, as long as they are respectful and follow the law, according to Roseburg School District officials.
Superintendent Gerry Washburn said in a letter sent to school district families that the district cannot encourage or discourage students participation in the event, which is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and last for 17 minutes to remember the 17 people who died in the Florida school shooting one month ago.
Washburn said in the letter that students have the right to freedom of speech and expression while at school, “so long as that speech or expression does not substantially disrupt the educational process.”
Students, he said, will not be disciplined for their participation as long as they remain safe, respectful, and responsible, and act in a manner that is not disruptive to the school environment.
Washburn said non-teaching staff members and administrators who are providing supervision will be focusing on keeping students safe and on campus.
He added that if students leave campus, they cannot provide supervision, so the district is strongly encouraging students to remain on school grounds.
Students will be marked as tardy if they return to class late, and attendance will be taken after the walkout.
The walkout is organized nationwide by EMPOWER, the Woman’s March youth branch.
According to the organization’s website, the marches have one mission, which is to put pressure on Congress pass gun reform laws and make schools safer, in the wake of the Florida school shooting.