Students from Rock Springs High School participated in a walkout for school safety today.
The walkout lasted for 17 minutes in honor of the lives lost in the Parkland, Florida shooting.
In additional to a number of students, many adults attended the event in support of school safety, including Sweetwater County School District #1 Superintendent Kelly McGovern, Sheriff Mike Lowell, parents, school staff, and administrators.
Several members of law enforcement were at the walkout for safety including some from Rock Springs Police Department, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, and Wyoming Highway Patrol.
Student organizer Riley Skorcz opened the walkout with a moment of silence for the lives lost in Parkland, Florida.
She said the event was about school safety and finding the best ways to keep everyone safe.
“As students and staff and administrators at Rock Springs High School, we are all directly affected by the issue of school safety,” Skorcz told those attending the walkout. “We need to start the conversation—figure out what we can do to improve the security and safety at our school.”
The walkout included students taking a pledge that students will:
- Say something if they see something
- Be a friend to those who need one, and
- Help keep their classrooms safe.
“The actions that are outlined within this pledge is a start, but if we want a change to happen, then this walkout and pledge must be coupled with changed policies. The key to a safer learning environment that we all deserve is student involvement,” said Skorcz.
Skorcz told Wyo4News that the walkout was not a political statement of gun control or about party lines.
“What it’s about is that right now students in the United States don’t feel safe,” said Skorcz. “And we have every reason to not feel safe. The tragedy that happened in Parkland, Florida nearly exactly a month ago, they have the exact same emergency procedures as Rock Springs High School does. The exact same procedures.”
Skorcz said she has talked to administrators and the head of facilities to find ways to make the school a safer place.
She said the administration of Sweetwater County School District #1 has been supportive of her effort to ensure school safety.
Superintendent Kelly McGovern said she attended the event to show support for Skorcz and the cause of school safety.
“I support her efforts,” said McGovern. “I support our students, the school, and her message.”
During the walkout, students were asked to write down ideas they have which could help to make the school a safer place. McGovern said these ideas were helpful and credited students with solving problems within schools.
“We need to listen to our students. Listen to their ideas and work along with our students for what they would like to see for school safety. Today was a big step,” said McGovern.
Following the 17-minute walkout, students returned to class
RSHS previously released a statement that students who attended the walkout would not face disciplinary action as long as they followed the student code of conduct and returned to class following the event.
Click here to view a video from Wyo4News which was aired on Facebook Live during the walkout.