High school plans snow date for Wednesday walkout

Ridgefield High School is planning to go ahead with its school-wide walkout Wednesday, even if Mother Nature isn't cooperating.

If Tuesday's forecasted snowstorm forces a closure Wednesday, March 14, Principal Stacey Gross said that the event will take place Thursday, March 15. A two-hour delay Wednesday will result in the event being held at its pre-scheduled time of 10:02 a.m.

"If schools are on a two-hour delay Wednesday morning, the event will go on as planned. Students will start the day with an advisory period at 9:25 a.m, and walkout at 10:02 a.m.," Gross said. "The campus will be closed between 9:25-10:45 a.m. for security reasons."

“The student organizers feel very strongly that it is important to move forward with the event even if it has to be rescheduled from the national date on March 14,” she added.

A three-hour delay Wednesday morning would also postpone the memorial to Thursday, March. 15, she said. 

The walkout is meant to memorialize the 17 students and staff members killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14. 

The event is expected to last around 30 minutes. Students who don’t wish to participate in the walkout will be able to go to the school library, where teachers will be on hand to supervise.

Only students and staff of the high school will be allowed to participate, Gross said.

Student organizers of the event said staff and students are invited to complete a 17-minute lap of the school, as a reflection on the 17 victims who lost their lives in Florida.

“Our goal is to honor the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th. This is a non-partisan event. We hope to encourage reflection and inspire all students to cherish each day of their lives and remember those who cannot,” the student organizers said in a statement.

The school will also have heightened security during the event, Gross said, including extra police officers on the campus throughout the day. The entire school campus will be closed from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Members of the media have been requested to have their ID’s visible at all times, and will have to present their credentials when they arrive.

The date marks the one-month anniversary of the shooting.

The event was originally organized by members of the Women’s March movement. As of Monday, March 12, 2,545 schools have planned school walkouts on March 14, according to the Women’s March website. Participants include schools as far away as Australia, Norway, and Israel.

National School Walkout

The March 14 walkout is separate from another national walkout movement organized by RHS Sophomore Lane Murdock for Friday, April 20 — the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

That event — National School Walkout — will have students walkout for the entire day. A change.org petition setup by Murdock collected 250,708 signatures by March 12. The Twitter page set up for the event has 124,000 followers.

“We are proud of the work and commitment our students have demonstrated,” Gross said.