By Kenton Gehrig and Abigail Miller 42Fifty Staff Writers
On Friday, March 2, Mr. Mike Wayne, the principal of Oswego High School, was interviewed about the school walkouts. The main focus was the National School Walkout on March 14, 2018.
This walkout is organized by the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER group and is set to take place at 10 a.m. in every timezone. It will last 17 minutes, one minute for every person that was killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
The movement is called “#ENOUGH”. The site says that “students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.”
There is nothing specifically in place for what to do, but Mr. Wayne gave us some insight into what they’re thinking of possibly doing. “if at all possible we don’t want students to have to skip class to have their voices heard, whatever that might look like; if it’s something in the building, or if they chose to leave.”
The school is considering having what Principal Wayne describes as a “special event period”. Class periods – except for lunch hours – would be cut short to open a time frame where students would be able to express their views in a variety of possible forms.
“We have a lot of different suggestions,” Principal Wayne said, “ writing letters to representatives and senators.” Wayne added that the potential special event period would try to encompass the 10 a.m. time frame for any students interested in walking out. A nonpartisan civics lesson about how youth can express their first amendment rights was another proposal.
The school wants to add other alternatives to walking out to ensure that each student at OHS is comfortable with sharing their opinion in the school environment.
“We want to make sure that, however this plays out, we are respecting the rights of students and other individuals,” Principal Wayne said.
Above all, the school’s biggest concern is the safety of the student body.
“We absolutely do not want to see any students get hurt,” Principal Wayne said. “Our number one goal all the time is safety.”
Principal Wayne planned to meet again with Democracy School and other civically engaged students to further discuss the events of March 14.