In support of the 17 people who died in a high school shooting last month in Parkland, Florida, students at West High School will join other students across the nation Wednesday in a walkout that will involve speeches from student leaders.
West student Madison Cousins, who is a student member of the Davenport School Board, discussed plans Monday night during the school board meeting.
Although she is not directly involved in planning the event, Cousins said she heard from other students that they will leave the building at 10 a.m., and that the event will involve 17 minutes of silence, with 12 minutes of speeches afterward.
Several board members expressed support of the students. “Be smart and be nice in the choices that you make so that you don’t wreck an opportunity,” advised board member Julie DeSalvo. “I support student voices."
“I, too, support peaceful demonstrations,” said board member Linda Hayes.
Board president Ralph Johanson said he had some concerns. “If it goes on for an hour, at what point is it too long?” he asked, adding that he “hopes it is a great event and very respectful all the way around.”
“I’m glad we’re letting them use their voices to be heard,” said board member Allison Beck.
Administrators will be outside the building to ensure the students’ safety.
In other business, the board, after an hour-long discussion, approved the original long range facilities plan, which includes a North High School athletic facility
District Director of Operations Mike Maloney answered questions about the plan. Although board members considered options to move up the North project, ultimately they approved the plan that includes construction of the North facility spread over two years at $350,000 in fiscal year 2018-19 and $360,000 in fiscal year 2019-20. Construction will begin in April or May of 2019.
Then plan also includes a secure-entry project that is expected to be completed in August 2018.