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Wando High School students to lock arms in hallways during National Student Walkout

File/Wando High School (WCIV)

Wando High School students and administrators have come to an agreement on how the school’s 4,000 students will participate in the National Walk Out on Wednesday, March 14.

Students will be allowed to leave their classrooms and line the hallways inside the school’s main building and advanced studies building and lock arms, said Wando principal Dr. Sherry Eppelsheimer.

In a voicemail message to all parents Tuesday evening, Eppelsheimer said administration will support the student demonstration for 17 minutes—one minute for the remembrance of each victim of the Florida shooting.

“The administration met with Wando student leaders for their input and together we decided that as a show of peaceful assembly for supporting non-violence in schools, those students who wish to participate may leave their classroom Wednesday, March 14, to line the hallways and lock arms inside the main building and the CAS,” she said. “Students who do not wish to participate will remain in supervised classrooms.”

School administration does not want students to walk outside the school but remain in the hallways, Eppelsheimer said.

We ask that students not move outside the building for their own safety and security,” Eppelsheimer said. “We are asking students to follow this plan in order for them to assemble peacefully.”

She said the school will use its “extreme weather plan” so that students in classrooms located in trailers will be in the main building during the time of the demonstration.

“There will be increased staff, security and law enforcement present for student and staff protection,” Eppelsheimer said. “Please know that the Charleston County School District supports students’ right to peaceful assembly and free expression, but school is about teaching and learning as a priority.

Wednesday marks one month since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Fla.

The National School Walkout, organized by the National Women’s March organization, calls for students nationwide to walk out at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes—one minute for each person who was killed during the massacre. The effort is aimed at supporting more gun control legislation.

Below is Dr. Sherry Eppelsheimer’s message in full:

Good evening Wando parents. This is Sherry Eppelsheimer, Wando high school principal, with information regarding the March 14 walkout.

The administration met with Wando student leaders for their input and together we decided that as a show of peaceful assembly for supporting non-violence in schools, those students who wish to participate may leave their classroom Wednesday, March 14, to line the hallways and lock arms inside the main building and the CAS.

This will involve 17 minutes—one minute for the remembrance of each victim of the Florida shooting. Students who do not wish to participate will remain in supervised classrooms. We will use our ‘extreme weather plan’ so that students in the trailer area will be in the main building.

We do not want students to walk out outside, as we wish to keep them all safe. Please know that we are asking students to follow this plan in order for them to assemble peacefully. We also ask that students not move outside the building for their own safety and security.

There will be increased staff, security and law enforcement present for student and staff protection. Please know that the Charleston County School District supports students’ right to peaceful assembly and free expression, but school is about teaching and learning as a priority.

The Charleston County School District student code of conduct remains in place and will be enforced. Teachers will be conveying this message to students. We ask that you speak to your students as well. Our intent is to provide students with this opportunity, however, our concern is always keeping them safe and secure. Thank you. Goodnight.”

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