On Wednesday, March 14, 2018 students in Collinsville Middle and High Schools will participate in the 2018 National School Walkout Against Violence.
Administrators have been meeting with student-leaders in those schools to discuss how to recognize and participate in this event.
CUSD 10 Superintendent Dr. Robert Green says, “We believe our students are best served by working together to ensure safety, cooperation and an orderly return to learning.”
All CMS and CHS students will be given the option to participate, but no one will be forced or expected to take part. CUSD 10 student-leaders have chosen to emphasize unity and inclusiveness, rather than a political agenda.
At Collinsville High School, student-leaders, under the auspices of the school’s Illinois Democracy School program, have organized a peaceful 17 minute walkout at 10:00 a.m. “to serve as a respectful, inclusive event to bring attention to the problem of school violence and pay respects to the Parkland, FL victims.”
CHS Principal David Snider emphasizes the school’s participation in the National School Walkout is voluntary and entirely student-led.
Seniors Venise Govan and Larah Gross are organizing representatives from the freshman, sophomore and junior classes to lead the walkout.
The seniors want their fellow students to realize the walkout is way to draw attention to the problem of school violence, but the real way to make a difference is to vote.
“Many seniors are – or will be – 18 years old in the upcoming election cycle,” says Larah Gross, “We should exercise our right to vote.”
A message to CHS students from Govan and Gross says:
“After the recent tragedy in Parland, Florida, we would like to bring more awareness to gun violence and the impact it has on our lives as students and teachers.
In solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, we – along with other schools across the nation – will be walking out of class at 10:00 a.m. for 17 minutes to remember the 17 lives that were lost during the Florida tragedy.
We invite you to pay respects by joining on this day, but we do not want anyone to feel obligated to attend. If you choose to attend, this is a school sanctioned event.”
At 9:55 a.m., a school wide announcement will be made to dismiss CHS students who wish to participate. Students who do not want to participate will remain in their classrooms. Teachers who have students remaining in class will be staying with those students. If ALL students in a class are participating, the teacher does not have to remain in the classroom and may choose to go with the students or remain in the building.
Students will remain outside for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 individuals killed in Parkland, FL. The victims’ names will be read and few CHS student leaders will speak. Students will return to classrooms at approximately 10:25 a.m.
At Collinsville Middle School, the students’ stated purpose is to “bring awareness to the need for greater safety within schools.”
CMS classes/students will be given the opportunity to go outside to a designated area at 10:00 a.m. The students will recognize the 17 individuals lost in the recent Florida shooting by reading a brief biography of each and placing roses into a circle. This will be followed by a moment of silence.
Collinsville Middle School students who do not wish to participate will be supervised in the gymnasium. At the conclusion of the memorial event, all students will return to class and the school day will continue as usual.
Students in CUSD 10 elementary and intermediate schools will not be participating in organized events on March 14.
One elementary school’s staff has announced plans for a time of “remembrance, solidarity, and support” on March 14.
Staff members at Kreitner Elementary have the option to arrive to work early on March 14 to begin their day gathered in the Lickfield Memorial Garden “for a time of remembrance for those lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as a time of prayerful support for our middle and high school students who will be peacefully joining millions of fellow students as they walk out of class later [in the] day.”
Superintendent Dr. Robert Green wants to remind parents that school safety is an ongoing priority.
“Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 believes school and student safety are among our most important duties. We are constantly reviewing security plans, resources and equipment. Our Student Resource Officers and District Security Manager are trained law enforcement professionals who work tirelessly to anticipate threats and protect our students from harm. Our schools partner with local police departments and first responders to keep students and staff safe,” says Dr. Green.
To learn more about school safety policies or procedures, please see the student handbooks and/or board policy manual on the kahoks.org website. Parents and guardians should never hesitate to contact schools with questions and concerns about safety.
If you are aware of something that could potentially harm a child, utilize the district’s Safe and Secure Hotline (618) 979-6406. If a threat is imminent, contact your local police department.