Hawai‘i DOE Issues National School Walkout Guidelines
The tragedy in Broward County on Feb. 14, 2018, has driven increased interest in student-led civic engagement efforts and actions, including the idea of school walkouts.
“HIDOE supports students’ Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression,” the guidelines say. “Our goal in responding to walkout plans and other forms of peaceful assembly is to support student and staff safety and keep the focus on teaching and learning.”
Based on social media messaging, it appears that there are at least three major student-led efforts underway:
March 14: Call for school walkout for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. @WomensMarch Action
March 24: March for Our Lives for all to participate in Washington D.C. @AMarch4OurLives
April 20: National School Walkout for students across nation in local districts. @schoolwalkoutUS
Guidelines for school leaders for the March 14 and April 20 (March 24 is a Saturday)
- Use the walk-out as a learning opportunity to promote student voice.
- Meet with student leaders to assess needs and any plans.
- Schools should consider creating a designated walkout area and/or adjusting bell schedules to accommodate the walkout. With student input, provide space on campus for students to assemble peacefully. Inform students to not leave campus for their own safety and security.
- Encourage students to use the time to share ideas for improving campus safety, security and culture. Ex: How can we better design our school to improve in these areas?
- Remind students that HIDOE supports their rights to peaceful assembly and free expression and students are expected to adhere to the Board of Education’s Student Code of Conduct.
- If students leave the school, follow your school’s/classroom’s typical procedures for unexcused tardiness or absence.