Area schools prepare for National School Walkout

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Wednesday marks one month since a gunman walked into a Florida high school and opened fire killing 17 students and faculty members.

Thousands are expected to take action in memory of those lost, rallying around one word — enough.

It’s being called The National School Walkout, and so far more than 1,000 protests are planned to be held March 14 to mourn the victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Students are encouraged to walk out of school for seventeen minutes in remembrance of each life lost on Valentine’s Day.

But most area schools are encouraging students to instead participate in planned events including ‘walk-ins’ and dress down days.

Below is a list of individual plans for schools around the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.


According to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS), any student that wishes to leave campus to participate will be allowed to do so with written permission by a parent or guardian.

SCCPSS schools are not organizing walkouts.

“Events that cause distractions to the overall learning environment or create situations that do not support safety and security are not endorsed by the school district,” a statement from SCCPSS reads.

Savannah Arts Academy

Savannah Arts Academy (SAA) will allow students to wear orange shirts Wednesday with a $2 donation. All funds will go to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A 17-minute ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. to recognize and mourn the victims of school-site acts of violence.

The SAA administrative team has determined Wednesday will be conducted as a regular school day.

SAA is not conducting or facilitating a protest or walkout.

Those who choose to leave school tomorrow must leave campus grounds and must have their parents’ written permission.

“Savannah Arts Academy does not permit students to use school time and resources to conduct political activities,” a statement to parents and guardians reads.

WSAV has learned from student organizers a walkout is still planned.

In a written statement, Junior Luke Edenfield said, “We are planning on holding a walkout that is not affiliated with Savannah Arts Academy. We will be wearing our orange shirts and the supporters in red will be coming. And it will be outside. This is a student-led and organized event separate from the school.”

Jenkins High School

Jenkins High School students received an early dismissal permission form to be signed by parents or guardians.

“Savannah-Chatham County Public School System does not endorse or encourage participation in any ‘walk out’ or protest activity that takes students off of any SCCPSS campus,” the form reads.

It says that students interested in participating in a walk-out at 10:00 a.m. must have written permission from a parent or guardian to do so.

The permission form must be presented before a student is allowed to leave school.

Islands High School

Islands High School students will have an activity at 10:00 a.m. in the school gym giving students an opportunity to show their concern and respect for students that have been impacted by violence in their schools.

The event, planned by the student senate, will include a chorus performance and ‘walk up’ where students are encouraged to introduce themselves to at least 17 people they do not know.

The school encourages students to take place in this event instead of a walkout.

If a student intends to leave campus, a parent permission slip must be completed and turned into the attendance office by 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Students who leave the school building and want to return after the walkout will be required to go through safety screening protocols.

Garrison School for the Arts

Garrison School for the Arts K-8 school is observing National Walkout Day with a dress down day for $1. All money raised will be sent to the victims’ fund in Florida.

Students are encouraged to wear orange which is the designated color for gun violence.


According to the Beaufort County School District, students who choose to leave their school buildings at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday can be signed out by a parent or guardian — the same as any other school day.

Students who cut class and leave school without parental permission could be disciplined accordingly.

Battery Creek High School

There will be a school-wide PA reading of the names of all 17 victims, and students will able to write sympathy messages to victims’ families as well as letters to lawmakers.

This will happen during student lunch periods.

Beaufort High School

Students will gather in the gym at 10 a.m.  There will be 17 empty chairs, and students will read personal messages about each victim.

Bluffton High School

Students will be able to walk into the hall at 10 a.m. for a brief moment of silence, then go back into classrooms and write messages on sticky notes that they can place on the atrium wall during their lunch periods.

After leaving the notes on the wall for other students to read, school administration will sort the notes and mail them appropriately.

Hilton Head Island High School

Students designed T-shirts with the Parkland high school’s logo that will be distributed to students on Tuesday (costs covered by an anonymous community donation).

At 10:00 a.m. via the school’s PA system, students will read memorial statements they’ve written about each of the 17 victims.

During lunch, students will be able to send messages to state and federal lawmakers.

Islands Academy

Students will wear the Parkland high school’s colors to a 17-minute event in the gym that includes a reading of victims’ names.

May River High School

Students who want to participate will be allowed to step into the halls at 10 a.m. and link arms during a school-wide ‘walk-in assembly’ over the school’s PA system.

Students will be allowed to wear burgundy, the school color of Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.

Whale Branch Early College High School

Students have proposed a 10 a.m. ‘walk-in’ that will include writing notes to post on the school’s atrium walls.

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