Districts working to keep students safe during planned walkouts

Districts working to keep students safe during planned walkouts
Letter from Catalina Foothills High School to parents, students. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - One month after the deadly Florida high school shooting, students across the country are planning on walking out of school to protest gun violence.

That includes schools here in Tucson, where each district plans to handle student walkouts differently.

Many of the districts are working with students to keep their protests and walkouts on campus, to avoid kids walking off school grounds during school hours.

Canyon del Oro High School students will walk to their school's football field, rather than over to the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial at the park next door, as originally planned.

Students planning the protest told Tucson News Now a change of location does not affect their overall message.

Rebecca Shanks, junior at CDO High School said, "It affects us in classrooms. We have to practice active shooter drills or when we have to live with the fear of being possibly injured or harmed at school."

Meanwhile at Catalina Foothills High School, where another walkout is planned, staff are holding separate events scheduled during the walkout.

Students at Catalina Foothills told us they felt the school created the observance to counteract any protest. In a letter to parents, the school adds that students are not allowed to leave campus.

Kids are saying they will walk out of class, not off campus. The school hasn't made it clear if students will be punished for leaving the classroom.

These are only two walkouts known to the public, but other students could participate around the area.

We reached out to other school districts to see how they could handle protests if they happen.

Marana Unified School District has said it will allow students to leave class, but not school grounds, while Tucson Unified School District has said it will announce their plans on Tuesday.

These walkouts on campus are limited to seventeen minutes, so not to interrupt classes any further.

Students who walk off campus during the nationwide school walkout could be subject to penalty. That varies from an unexcused absence to a more severe disciplinary action.

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.