Craven County Schools has been working closely with school administrators since the announcement of the plans for the National Walkout Day in Remembrance of the 17 shooting victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Principals have communicated with students the importance of maintaining a safe and conducive learning environment while still providing an opportunity to memorialize the lives of those lost as a result of this tragedy.
- Student leaders at New Bern High School have created a Walk Out & Walk Up (see photo of poster)
- Havelock High School will honor the memory of the victims with a moment of silence at 10 a.m.
- Craven Early College High School will have a Walk-In by challenging students to walk up to 14 students and 3 adults to say something kind, This will encourage students to make others feel included, welcomed, and appreciated.
While respecting students’ First Amendment Rights, Craven County Schools is communicating with students who are interested in expressing themselves so long as there is minimal disruption in the classroom and does not impact student and staff safety. The schools have been providing alternative options for students to demonstrate their compassion during this time. Alternative, peaceful, on-campus plans include, a moment of silence to remember those that lost their life and student led walk-in’s.
The district shares the community’s concerns regarding school safety and continues to partner with local law enforcement and other agencies throughout Craven County to provide training and continue practicing through drills to ensure staff and students are as prepared as possible for any type of emergency that might occur at school.
Update: The following notice was sent by New Bern High School Principal Jerry Simmons to parents of New Bern High School students. About 11 students at the high school walked out of class and participated in a peaceful sit-in.
Good evening, Parents. This is Jerry Simmons, principal of New Bern High School. Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of the tragedy that occurred in Parkland, Florida. A movement has begun in response to the violence happening on school campuses throughout the world. That movement calls for students to walk out of schools tomorrow morning at 10am and return to their classes after 17 minutes, one minute for each victim last month. I have been approached by many of our students and staff members expressing concern for the safety of our students, given that this plan has been widely advertised and not everyone may have the best of intentions in mind. Our student leaders from both SGA and FCA have proposed an alternative to the WalkOut and I will describe that plan here. First, we’re asking that our students and staff members wear silver and red or burgundy, the colors for the Stoneman Douglas Eagles. Second, we will invite any students who wish to participate to join us to Walk Out on Bear Plaza during their assigned lunch period. We will offer moments for reflection and support for the victims during that time. We will also solicit feedback from our students on how we can improve our practices at New Bern High. And third, we are asking our students to Walk Up to someone you don’t know and extend kindness and concern to a fellow Bear. So again, we have informed our students that we are not supporting the planned 10am WalkOut as we cannot safely supervise this activity. We are instead asking that our students and staff rally with us as we Dress Like An Eagle in Silver and Red, WalkOut during lunches and WalkUp to a fellow Bear. As always, thank you for supporting the Mighty Bears.