1 local public school has walkout

Published 10:40 am Monday, March 19, 2018

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — At schools across the nation, students participated in National Walkout Day to protest gun violence. The teen activism was a result of the Feb. 14 attack at a Parkland, Fla., high school in which 17 were killed.
The only school in the Sumter County Schools system to participate on Wednesday were a few students at Furlow Charter School.
The following statement was issued by Principal Elizabeth Kuipers, after being asked by the Americus Times-Recorder.
“Yesterday [Wednesday] 29 scholars walked out of school at 10:00 am and gathered at the main sign of the school. They stood in silence for 17 minutes and then returned to school. The scholars’ safety and maintaining an orderly learning environment were administration’s top concerns. They were supervised at all times. Although a scholar apparently posted the walkout on a national page somewhere, the organizer(s) never approached administration with a plan or proposal regarding the walkout or any programming surrounding the event.
“As per our student handbook, all students who left class without permission received an office referral for 15 minutes of community service for Friday during lunch. At that time, the administrators will discuss with the scholars the tragedy of the Florida shootings and ways that the FCS community can make a difference regarding the issues that students are concerned about. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of security and the security improvements that have been made at Furlow over the past two years.”
Torrance Choates, Ed.D., superintendent of Sumter County Schools, said there were no walkouts at any of the other schools in the system and teachers kept the students busy and on-task.