Stow-Munroe Falls school board nixes planned walkout; students irked

STOW, OH (WOIO) - The Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education approved a resolution Tuesday evening, recommending students stay in- class during Wednesday's planned nationwide walkout.

"To all of the adults who say that just because we're in high school we shouldn't have an opinion on this kind of stuff, we're the ones dying, we're the ones who have to mourn the loss of our friends," said freshman Kaitlyn Kriska.

Students said they're disappointed school board members passed a last-minute resolution to stop Wednesday's planned walkout. The walkout is part of a nationwide movement addressing gun violence following February's Parkland, Florida school shooting.

At Stow-Munroe Falls, high school students worked with school administrators to create a 17-minute memorial that would pay tribute to past school shootings across the country. They also planned to do a balloon release and talk about prevention and mental illness.

"To me the students wanted to express their voice. They didn't want to express our voice. Or our version of their voice. They just wanted to do their own thing one time to show solidarity," said school board member Lisa Johnson-Bowers.

During Tuesday's emergency school board meeting, some members said the outdoor walkout wasn't safe. Instead, they want students to do a 17 minute moment of silence inside the school. The resolution passed with a vote of 3-2.

"I think the shootings we are doing this for prove inside is no safer than outside," said junior Brandon Justice.

Some parents said they understood why the school board made the decision.

"It's tragic what happened, but there are rules in school for a reason. You teach kids to follow the rules," said parent Steve Ritchie.

Despite the decision made by school board members, students said they still plan to walkout of class Wednesday at 10 a.m.

"They're worried about one day, one walkout. We're worried about future generations of students not feeling safe in the school," said senior Jacy Guider.

"I do believe that we are still going to walk out tomorrow," said senior Alexia Ostrander.

Cleveland 19 News asked Stow-Munroe Falls High School Principal Dr. Jeffrey Hartmann if students would get in trouble if they choose to take part in the walkout Wednesday. He didn't give a direct answer, instead he said his priority is to keep students safe.

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