Faced with the prospect of what some are calling punishment, in the form of being marked absent, students at one South Bay high school say they will join Wednesday’s nationwide march against violence anyway.
Saying that it cannot condone a student walkout calling for stricter gun control, the Milpitas Unified School District is not backing down from its position that those who do leave school tomorrow will be given an unexcused absence.
Milpitas High School students, mostly juniors and seniors, are set to walk out of class early Wednesday to join a nationwide student walkout intended to call on lawmakers to enact stricter gun control. They hope to make a difference, says associate student body treasurer Diangelo Jacquez.
“I’m hoping it will make a difference, I know it doesn’t happen all that much in California, but we know it can happen anywhere and we’re hoping this will create some awareness and help out,” Jacquez said.
The Milpitas school district says it supports the students in giving voice to their concerns but says it can’t guarantee their safety away from school and those who leave class will face consequences in the form of an unexcused absence.
“Our preference is that the kids stay on campus where all of the kids can have an opportunity to have a safe environment in which to have a discourse about their concerns,” Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent Cheryl Jordan said.
#MilpitasHighSchool students to join Wednesday’s nationwide march to protest gun violence despite “consequences.” Those who join march will be given an unexcused absence. Dist. Says it can’t keep kids safe off campus. pic.twitter.com/o05Y7zJgBX— @Rob Fladeboe kron4 (@KRON4RFladeboe) March 13, 2018
The students plan to march about a mile and a half and rally outside the Milpitas Police Department, which will be providing security and traffic control along the way.
KRON4 is told that as many as 100 students, maybe more, will be joining the march, despite being marked absent.
For those who do not choose to go, the district announced on Tuesday that there will be a school-wide moment of silence at 10 a.m. to express solidarity with students across the nation in a safe environment.