Anderson School District One students plan activities for Parkland anniversary


In the wake of the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting, Anderson School District One students have been meeting with school officials on how they can be a part of a student movement to discuss and advocated for increased school safety and honor those killed in the Parkland tragedy. Tuesday, March 14 is the one month anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.
In a statement from Anderson District One, officials said:

“Students in Anderson School District One benefit from being active participants in democracy and will get an opportunity to apply what they have been taught – to think, to plan and to communicate. Therefore, student leaders at each of our high schools have worked to create meaningful, reflective times for students on March 14.”

Details of student led activities planned for tomorrow for each of the three district high schools include:

Student leaders from Palmetto High school have toured their school to look for places where safety enhancements could be made. It is their goal to bring attention to these areas and ask for action by the district to help improve safety. Student leader, Madison Stewart, said students will be allowed to leave class and go stand by an area they feel where safety could be improved. They will remain in silence as the names of the victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are read. Their two goals are to remember those that lost their lives and to call attention to ways their school can become a safer place for learning.

Powdersville High School student leaders asked administration to do something constructive for the school. They have planned to “sit in” class and talk with their teachers about school safety. There will be a time for each student to voice concerns and give ideas on how to keep the school the safest learning environment possible. The information gathered will be compiled and shared with local, state and national leaders. In honor of the latest victims in a school shooting the students have asked to have a moment of silence for ALL victims of school violence.

Wren High school students enrolled in AP English class under the direction of teacher Matthew Truesdale requested a meeting with school and district administration for the purpose of sharing how they wanted to take a stand against school violence. Their goals were to honor the victims and give students time to reflect on school safety where students gather in the high school auditorium. A banner was created for all students to sign and send to Stoneman Douglas HIgh School to show Wren’s support for those students and the tragedy they experienced.

“The district is committed to striking a proper balance between student’s rights on free speech and the district’s responsibility to ensure safety and order in its schools,” said David Havird, Superintendent for Anderson One. “District and school administration felt it was important for students to have a voice with regards to school responses to the walk out. They carefully listened to their input and suggestions for honoring the student victims in Parkland, Florida and their own school safety and security measures.”

Havird said students have prepared meaningful, relevant and reflective opportunities for the student body and students interested in participating. The events are positive and proactive ways to involve or engage others in the democratic process without compromising policies in place related to participation, school attendance and school safety. Importantly, students need to follow through on their projects in ways that are safe and appropriate.

“Students generally have a right to have their voice heard or even protest during the school day,” Havid said. “While it is not expected, we are prepared to handle any students that are disruptive or walk out, for example, students that fail to return to class and/or leave the campus. School administrators are being proactive to inform students of disciplinary consequences (in-school or out-of-school suspensions) if school policies are violated in connection with the event.”

“The district is making an effort to recognize the rights for students to express themselves regarding school safety while seeking the proper balance on free speech and the schools responsibility of ensuring order and security on each campus.”

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