Today’s Event

When the March 14 national student walkout was announced, we decided as a school district to take some time to be proactive and to carefully think the whole issue through. We ultimately made the decision to allow students to voluntarily participate within some very specific expectations. The event was held inside for safety and security reasons, and normal school behavioral standards were expected. The event was student-led and was designed to be a remembrance for the victims of the Florida tragedy. We made sure that it was well-supervised.

I certainly respect different points of view in our community as to how the walkout should have been handled, but as a school district, we felt that giving students who wanted to participate the opportunity to do so in a supervised, safe, and respectful environment was the right approach. I believe today bore out the wisdom of this approach.

I was present at Lugoff-Elgin High School where about 500 students came to the gym in an orderly manner, sat in silence until 10:17 a.m., and returned to class without any issue when asked to do so. The other schools where students participated all had similarly respectful and orderly events.

My takeaway from this day is that we should feel very proud of our students. They handled themselves in a mature and thoughtful way, whether they participated or not. This doesn’t just happen. I believe our students have learned how to do the right thing from their families, in their churches, from the community as a whole, and in our schools. I would hope that we as adults would handle a similar situation in as positive and appropriate way as our young people did today.

A lot of credit goes to our school faculties for their guidance and direction to our students as this day approached.

I was very proud of our school district and our community today.