UPDATE: Nevada County students participate in National School Walkout (VIDEO)
March 11, 2018
UPDATE: Western Nevada County schools participated in today’s National School Walkout this morning, joining schools from across the country, including schools in the Truckee area as well.
Watch video of the walkout below.
Since the recent Parkland shooting, anti-gun violence protests and displays of activism have been organized all over the United States.
One such protest is the 17-minute National School Walkout, planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday. Several western Nevada County schools intend to participate.
Supported by the Women's March Sacramento Youth Program and Women's March Youth Empower, organizers invite students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to participate, demanding that Congress pass federal gun reform legislation that, as the event website states, "keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship."
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Some of the high schools and middle schools in Nevada County that have opted to participate in this protest include Nevada Union, Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, Forest Charter, and Grass Valley Charter.
According to Scott Lay, the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, school administrators are working with students to make sure they still receive credit and that the walkout does not affect their attendance.
While Nevada Union High school and staff are not participating in the walkout, a group of around 60 students have planned to protest during a passing period. Community members and parents, however, cannot attend because the walkout is during school hours.
At Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, student organizers from both the 11th and 12th grade classes have taken the lead in organizing a school-wide walkout, including making posters and hosting an information session for students during a lunch period. The protest aligns with the 12th grade curriculum, which centers around active citizenship.
Grass Valley Charter School has made the protest their own, adding a march, a well as letter-writing and card-making components to the walkout, all under a hashtag they have created: #peacefulschools. Through the protest, staff hope to teach the students how to peacefully exercise their rights in a democracy while emphasizing the character traits Grass Valley Charter teaches.
At 10 a.m. students will march to the Pelton wheel on the corner of East Main and South Auburn streets, where a City Council member will be waiting to accept their letters and cards. When the students arrive back at the school, the whole school will gather to debrief in a "closing circle," this time shaped like a peace sign.
Mia Belluomini is a senior at Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning and an intern at The Union. Contact her at email@example.com.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to correct the date of the walkout.