Thursday, April 19, 2018

National student walkout scheduled
for April 20

School districts are anticipating a repeat of the March 14 walkouts in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The next walkout is scheduled for April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

Although the recent “March for our Lives” walkout was scheduled for 17 minutes, in memory of each of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting, the “National School Walkout” on April 20 will start at 10 a.m. local time and reportedly will last the entire day. It is unclear how many Illinois school districts will see walkouts on April 20, although the National Student Walkout website offers signups in several areas, including Chicago and suburbs, Champaign-Urbana, Rockford, Bloomington-Normal, and Peoria.

In March, school districts made determinations on handling student protests on the local level. Responses to the March for Our Lives varied in Illinois, including prohibiting walkouts, holding discussion assemblies at the scheduled protest time, and working with students to ensure safe and respectful protests.

More information on managing these events can be found on the IASB Blog, from the National School Boards Association, and on the Illinois State Board of Education website.