Over lack of action on gun violence, Three Lowndes public schools participate in National Walk Out Day

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd confirmed three Lowndes County Public Schools participated in what was described in national media reports as a national walk out of class on Wednesday, March 14 to demand stricter gun laws in a show of solidarity that was part tribute and part protest. However, he praised Lowndes County Middle School for participating during non-school class hours.

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Boyd said, “Three of our schools (the Calhoun School, Central High and LCMS) participated in the National Walk Out Day and all of these events were supervised by school district teachers and administrators.”

Boyd said, “Being that Lowndes County played an important role during the Civil Rights Movement, we understand the power of organized peaceful protest.  We also understand importance of enabling students to express their First Amendment rights in a dignified and responsible manner.”

However, he said, ” I am particularly pleased with the Lowndes County Middle School student Moesha McCall who request to conduct the protest at a time which does not interfere with instruction. “

He said at Calhoun and Central, “The event occurred at the two high schools at 10 a.m. (which was the time set nationally for the Walk Out) and lasted approximately 17 minutes.  This occurred during second block (which is not the advisory period) and had a minimal impact on the instructional day.   The event was organized and managed by the students, teachers and school administrators.”

Nickles Rankins, a teacher at Lowndes Middle School, said that over the last few weeks during the morning motivational speaking and character education time students at the school discussed the school shooting that occurred in Parkland, Fla.

He said, “SGA (Student Government Association) President Moesha McCall stated that she felt bad about the innocent students and staff that lost their lives and that she and other students wanted to participate in the National Walk Out Day but didn’t want it to interfere with their regular school day.”

Rankins said, “We came up with a plan on last week that the students would ‘honor’ the victims before their school day started during the motivational speaking time after the students had breakfast.”

He said that on March 14, students at Lowndes Middle “participated in the National School Walk Out Day to protest the lack of action from lawmakers after seventeen lives were lost 14 students and three staff members killed on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.” And, he said, under the leadership of Principal Toriano Baker, “Students at Lowndes Middle wanted to stand together with students around the nation to remember and honor the victims who lost their lives.”