Superintendent Chris Ragsdale met with Cobb principals Wednesday to discuss the planned March 14 walkouts in support of gun control and in honor of the victims of the February 14 Parkland, Florida school shooting.
Whereas Marietta City Schools, Cherokee County and DeKalb County issued statements saying students will not face repercussions for the 17-minute walkout at 10 a.m. on March 14, Cobb echoes Fulton County’s decision that students who walk out of class may face disciplinary action for interrupting “normal school operation, which is a policy violation and potentially jeopardizes student and staff safety.” The statement also says that leadership will work with students to find another way to “accomplish this demonstration of empathy.”
Lassiter senior Hannah Andress said the walkout will go on as planned at her school.
“We are not deterred,” she said. “Our principal is giving us a safe space to meet.”
Lily Lefter, one of the organizers and a junior at Walton High School, said, “My co-hosts and I are even more determined now and won’t be deterred due to the statement released by the Cobb County School Board today; we are continuing our current course of action for the walkout on March 14. We are walking out because the 17 people who died due to gun violence cannot, and we feel strongly enough about this issue that we are willing to face the possible disciplinary repercussions.” In the meantime, the organizers will contact the school board regarding the decision and will meet with the principal in the morning.
The topic of school walkouts has been contentious in an unofficial Facebook group for Cobb County parents, staff and students, leading administrators to disable comments on several posts.