Students in Coeur d’Alene School District plan walkouts
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Students in the Coeur d’Alene School District are planning to take part in demonstrations next week to “start a meaningful discussion about school safety, promote participation in the political process, and pay their respects to the victims of school violence,” according to a release sent by the director of communications for the district.
The district says the students want to help find solutions to school violence across the U.S., as well as help raise awareness about issues such as bullying and mental health services.
“We’re trying to get teenagers to be a little more involved in our government, because at some point it’s going to be our government. We’re the next generation,” Coeur d’Alene High senior Annika Silk said.
CHS students will display a sign with the names of the 14 students and three faculty members killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting on Feb. 14. They may observe a moment of silence for the victims of that tragedy and other school violence over the years.
At Lake City High School, the Helping Other People Everywhere (HOPE) Club is organizing Wednesday’s student demonstration.
The students are also working to correct those who have misconstrued their intentions with the walkouts.
“What we are trying to promote is not a liberal versus conservative movement. We are trying to promote school safety, which has no political agenda. That is something that should just be an American value,” O’Brien says. “We are not asking for a gun ban. We are asking for our students’ and teachers’ safety.”
Students at both schools plan to promote voter registration for those who are 18 or will turn 18 before the November election. They also will encourage students to write letters to members of Congress and the Idaho Legislature on ways schools can be made safer.
Student organizers say the activity is expected to last about 25 minutes, including the time it takes for students to assemble and return again to their classes.
The students have worked directly with their school administrators and say they are working hard to make sure the demonstrations are peaceful, respectful and not disruptive.
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