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Richland School District to focus on student safety in case of walkout

Photo: WCYB

RICHLAND, Wash. - A local school district is addressing safety regarding possible walkout activities in response to recent school shootings and threats around the country.

Richland School District (RSD) officials are preparing in case students decide to participate in a walkout on the day of March 14, when students across the nation are anticipated to "walk out" of school for 17 minutes to honor each of those lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

As of Monday, school officials said they do not know if any walkouts at Richland schools will happen.

RSD Superintendent Rick Schulte said, “They [students] have the right to attend school free from fear and worry about gun violence. And they have the right to raise this serious issue with constructive actions and dialogue.”

Schulte said steps are being taken to ensure student safety should students exercise their right to protest school gun violence.

While no walkouts have been organized for the school district, according to an RSD news release, high school administrators have had continued and open communication with student leaders.

Local police have been contacted regarding a possible walkout, and school officials said administrators will contact police for assistance if any student walks out of class.

Students who participate in a walkout event will be marked ‘unverified’ for all missed classes that occur during the event, district leaders said. Parents can then call and excuse a student within three days to change the 'unverified' absence to 'excused'.

According to leaders, students will be allowed reasonable accommodations to make up work missed during the event.

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