TIPP CITY — About 200 students walked out of Tippecanoe High School Wednesday afternoon in support of students in Parkland, Fla., and against gun violence.
According to Superintendent Gretta Kumpf, the walkout was done in a “peaceful and respectful manner.”
“We recognize our students have a voice, and we also know that they see a concern in our community and across the nation. It’s of utmost importance to us as well,” she said. “We support our students’ ability to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
The walkout came one week after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
High school students across the country staged walkouts on Wednesday, from Austin, Texas, to Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., according to the Associated Press. Students at a Columbus area high school sat outside in silence for 17 minutes.
Similar walkouts are being planned nationwide for March 14, one month after the Florida shooting, and on April 20, which is the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
Kumpf said that high school staff will be working with student leadership to plan for both of those events and make sure students are safe.
The district has also worked closely with the Tipp City Police Department to plan and implement various safety drills, Kumpf said. Staff members have also received active shooter training. She added that the administration is always looking for new and better ways to keep students safe.
The district employs a visitor registration log and visitor badges, surveillance cameras and controlled access points in all schools. Schools are also equipped with radios so that the police department can be contacted quickly in case of an emergency.
In addition to the district’s DARE officer, the schools are also regularly visited by off-duty police officers during the school day.
“That’s a nice partnership with both the police department and the city,” she said.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.