Beaufort Co. School District discouraging students from nationwide school walkout

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — The national school walk-out scheduled for March 14th is to protest the current gun legislation, but the Beaufort County School District is discouraging its students from participating.

“March For Our Lives” is a nationwide call by students, to students to walk out at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes — a minute for each life lost in the Parkland school shooting.

“The safety of students is our number one priority, there’s nothing more important to us than protecting the safety of the kids who are our responsibility during the school day,” said Jim Foster with the Beaufort County School District.

Safety is the very reason the district is discouraging the walkout.

“If students leave the school building, leave the school grounds, it makes it very difficult to ensure their safety and also presents a target of opportunity for somebody who might want to do them harm,” Foster said.

He adds that students will face consequences for cutting class.

“Parents can sign their kids out on March 14th, just like they can on any other day,” he said, “But if you cut class, that is a violation and a possible consequences under the student code of conduct.”

News 3 asked parents what they thought on Facebook.

Some said absolutely not, noting that students can protest on Saturdays. Others remembered when they walked out for mold issues at H.E. McCracken when it was on Hilton Head Island.

Most agreed with a parent who said, “People complain how kids these days do nothing but play online games and stare at the phone, but when they want to make a difference there is a problem.”

But the district says there are better ways.

“Students obviously have valid concerns, students all over the country, students here in Beaufort County. So over the next couple of weeks, our principals are going to be talking to their students,” Foster said, “The kids will be coming up with ways that they can express their concerns in ways that don’t disrupt the school day.”

Each principal will decide what their school will do.

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