IRSD share safety concerns about National School Walk Out

The National School Walkout on gun violence will happen on March 14th and earlier this week, Cape Henlopen's Superintendent announced that students would have the support of the district if they choose to participate.

But on Friday, 47 ABC learned that another school in Sussex County is prioritizing safety over participation. 

Indian River Superintendent Mark Steele sent out a letter Thursday to parents and guardians and over the course of two-pages, made it clear that the district will not support students who participate in the walk out on March 14th.

It's a stance parents 47 ABC spoke with appreciate. 

Shannon Schaffer, an Indian River parents says, "I do believe people do have the right to protest in their own way, but I think letting children, minors under the age of 18, make a decision to walk out of school is not something we should allow." 

In the letter Steele wrote in part, "Our expectation is that students will remain in the building, as we are unable to provide the same level of safety outside in an open area. We will adhere to all district policies related to this issue."

Steele citing a district policy that students have the right to protest, but only if they don't disrupt classes or present a hazard to students or school. 

Schaffer explains, "Worst case scenario, I would worry they walk out and then what happens, they're outside for 17 minutes. What if somebody at that point decides March 14th, they know this is happening, that's when they are going to make a move and do something." 

Steele and the district understand that students and others in Sussex County may feel passionate about the movement. That's why he made it clear in the letter that schools will be encouraged to find ways for students to voice their concerns and express their views.

It's another point parents agree with. 

"I think there are a lot more ways to be proactive about it, instead of being reactive to the situation, just by being nice to everybody. I know that sounds cliche but I mean you kind of nip the problem in the butt with being nice and it doesn't foster these problems," explains another Indian River parent, Rebecca Coulbourn.


Categories: Delaware, Local News