Stanly County Schools responds to walkout controversy

FILE PHOTO: Stanly County Schools | Stanly County Schools

ALBEMARLE — Stanly County Schools Superintendent Jeff James provided a detailed statement concerning recent reports about the school system’s handling of the national walkout.

In the statement, which you can read in full here, James explains the school system’s plan for what was billed as a national walkout related to gun control.

While the school system had a week-long plan to remember the students who were murdered on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Fla., news reports about the walkout have garnered most of the attention

According to the statement, the school system used its regular lock-down drill — which is held monthly without notice to students — as part of the planned activities surrounding gun violence. James stated that “Principals were eager to find a way to allow students, primarily at the secondary level, an avenue for showing their solidarity with other students around the country, without creating any situations where safety may be an issue.”

James also noted that the drill, which is normally around ten minutes, was extended to 17 minutes to align with the walkout and walk up movements that had been planned in other schools around the country. James said the school leaders and staff believed staff and students could use the “lock-down drill as a vehicle to allow students to discuss, debate, and share their thoughts.”

“I felt the decision to use the drill Wednesday was fully appropriate, balancing the concerns of school administration, students, teachers, and concerned parents. I take the matter of school safety very seriously,” said James