The three largest school districts serving Fresno say they support the First Amendment, but warn students there are consequences if they skip class in protest.
Wednesday is the scheduled National Walkout Day to remember the 17 victims killed in the school shooting Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.
According to Fresno Unified, punishments of detention and/or suspension will be carried out as normal.
“We don’t anticipate mass walkouts. We have provided alternate activities,” spokesman Miguel Arias said.
Central Unified is holding a “See Something, Say Something” program this week. According to a news release, the event “will raise awareness about drugs, gangs, bullying, and social media and cyber safety.”
Clovis Unified plans for similar programs. But the district says students will be held accountable if they skip school.
“Should a student chose, instead, to leave class or campus in the middle of the day without permission they would face the same consequences that they do on any other day if they were truant from class,” said district spokeswoman Kelly Avants.
Discipline won’t be as automatic at Central.
“We are encouraging students to stay on campus with alternative methods of expressing their concerns and ideas. If any student walks out, we will evaluate on a case by case basis,” said Sonja Dosti from the Central public information office.
Fresno Unified schedule (as provided by the district)
Ahwahnee Middle School: 9:50 a.m.
Students have organized a peaceful protest and a call for reform in response to school shootings across the country.
Bullard High School: 10 a.m.
Class schedules have been changed to allow for a 30-minute break (10-10:30 a.m.) so students can gather in a circle in the quad and hold hands for 17 minutes. Students will speak in an open-mic format.
Computech Middle School: 1 p.m.
Staff and students will participate in a moment of silence followed by students signing memorial posters in the quad at lunchtime.
Cooper Academy: 11 a.m.
Students will walk out to the school’s field where a huge heart with the number 17 inside of it along with #PARKLAND will be painted on the grass. Classes will be assigned a location to stand on the painted area.
Edison High School: 10 a.m.
Students wishing to participate in a walkout will be redirected to the cafeteria for an open forum, where they can voice their concerns. Staff will be there to help guide their conversations.
Teenagers who said they were desperate for action on gun control staged a silent “lie-in” outside the White House on Feb. 19.
Students will gather in a circle in front of Royce Hall and link arms. For 17 minutes, the students will remember those who were killed and injured in Parkland by participating in various activities and sharing their support for safe schools.
Hoover High School: 10 a.m.
Students will participate in a walkout in the quad for 17 minutes. Following a moment of silence, students will have the opportunity to speak about school safety and write messages that will be posted throughout campus.
McLane High School: 10 a.m.
Students wishing to participate in a walkout will be redirected to the gym, where administrators will have a space set up for student discussion.
Roosevelt High School: 10:06 a.m.
Students will walk out to two separate designated areas and march to the Stables quad area. Student leaders and government/economics students will speak. Students will wear white to symbolize peace and release biodegradable balloons in memory of the Parkland victims.
Sunnyside High School: 10 a.m.
The entire staff and student body will come out into hallways and courtyards to link arms. A positive message about the importance of caring for each other will be read over the PA system.