Students organizing an April 20 walkout commemorating the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting say they have planned a safe event, with adult support.
In a statement sent on Thursday, FPS Students Demand Action members said they understand the decision to leave school from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. will come with consequences. Students face three hours of Saturday community service or a three-hour detention, the standard policy for unexcused absences.
Walkout organizers say they have “made every effort to ensure the safety of those who choose to participate. We encourage parents and other community members to walk in support of safer schools and join their children for this incredibly unique learning experience as we seek change through discussion.”
Students plan to walk from North Farmington High on 13 Mile Road east of Farmington Road to Orchard United Methodist Church on Farmington Road south of 14 Mile Road. They will have a Farmington Hills Police escort.
“In addition, we are pleased to have the participation of a number of adults including religious leaders, legislators, mental health professionals, legal professionals, and others. They will be speaking on a panel and answering student and community questions during a Q & A session.”
The goal, they wrote, is to “create productive dialogue in a town hall setting on a community level.” And that’s something they’ve learned as Farmington Public Schools students.
“…we have grown up being taught to create positive change, to stand up to injustice, to make a difference in our world. Our education ingrained in us the need to speak up and we intend to not be silent. To us, this is not a political issue. Gun violence is not red or blue, it’s human. We fight on because student safety, the safety of our community, and the safety of our country depends on it.
“Thank you for listening to us. Thank you for believing in us. Together we can ensure that those who have died from acts of gun violence have not died in vain.”