Upstate school districts discuss planning for National Walkout D - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate school districts discuss planning for National Walkout Day

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Anderson District 5 Superintendent Thomas Wilson talked about preparations for National Walkout Day on March 14 (FOX Carolina: 2/26/17). Anderson District 5 Superintendent Thomas Wilson talked about preparations for National Walkout Day on March 14 (FOX Carolina: 2/26/17).
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When Anderson District 5 Superintendent Thomas Wilson learned students nationwide would walk out of school to demand Congress pass gun legislation on March 14, he decided to get ahead of the movement.

"Let's walk out, have a purpose whether it's release balloons or something in remembrance of what we're all about and why we're doing this," said Wilson.

The website for the national protest shows people are organizing protests at at least four Upstate Schools including Christ Church Episcopal School, Hillcrest High School, Laurens High School and Wren High School. 

There's also an Instagram account called "Byrnes Walkout" where the organizer is calling for the protest at J.F. Byrnes High School in District 5.

While Anderson 5 students haven't organized anything to their knowledge, Superintendent Wilson said he and the principals want the students to be in on the call for action.

"Whether it's an assembly in the stadium or on the playground, or an activity, it's kind of what we discussed in District 5," said Wilson.

Wilson said it will be up to each individual principal to decide exactly how the day will look. For those students who want to participate in the national movement, Wilson said the district supports them.

"We want to let each principal have the flexibility to design or participate in a way that fits their school... we believe in site based management, letting principals make those decisions but we did discuss it as a group not to penalize kids and suspend anybody on March the 14," said Wilson.  

FOX Carolina heard back from several Upstate districts about how they're preparing.  

Anderson District 1 schools said administrators plan to meet with students and staff in the coming days to discuss plans for March 14. 

Greenville County Schools said they have a draft plan in place which principals are reviewing with students this week.  

In Spartanburg District 5, the principal there met with student council Friday to discuss safe alternatives that will still allow students to have a voice. Currently, administrators are reviewing those ideas along with how to move forward with discipline and allowing teachers to participate. 

The Pickens County School District released the following statement: 

"We’re aware of the movement to have a “National School Walkout Day” on March 14. At this time, none of our student groups have approached us about organizing a walkout. However, we are working on guidelines for how we will handle the situation if students choose to participate, and we will communicate our plans to parents and students in the next few days."

FOX Carolina is still waiting to hear back from Laurens District 55. 

PREVIOUS: Upstate gun rights advocate, professor each weigh in on school walkout movement 

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