Message Regarding March 14, 2018 Walkout

Message Regarding March 14, 2018 Walkout
Posted on 03/14/2018
In response to misinformation released by the Lake Geneva Regional News, Badger High School would like to address the events of March 14, 2018.

Badger students today walked out of their classes at 10:00 a.m. and into the main gym in a show of support for the National Walkout. The 17-minute event was led by a small group of Badger students who had previously approached administration about the safest way to convene.

The event drew approximately 150 students who peacefully met in the gym. Three students addressed the crowd regarding the purpose of the event, which hinged on honoring the 17 students lost in a recent school shooting in Parkland, FL. After a brief introduction, the students held a moment of silence.

One of the students organized an activity that encouraged those in attendance to go onto the gym floor to introduce themselves to 17 other students they did not know, or with whom they have never interacted. This was followed by a brief message encouraging the students to carry forth their message and use their voices to be heard in a positive manner.

The last 30 seconds, one of the organizers asked students to peacefully disassemble and quietly go back to class.

In the days prior to the walkout, school administration proactively met with the student organizers to discuss student safety, the top concern of all involved. The School Liaison Officer and Principals developed a safety plan to keep all students in a safe environment, which included staff at the doors to provide a secure building, keeping non-students from entering the building through anything but the main office, and extra patrol officers were provided on the premises.

One of the organizers, Denzel Dondiego, Badger High School junior, issued this statement following the event. "I would like to thank Badger for allowing us to voice our opinions while also allowing us to do it in a safe environment inside the main gym. This decision was made by both administration and us running the event. Our number one concern is student safety."

We would like to be clear that no students were prohibited from leaving the building. Principal Russ Tronsen stated that he was proud of the way students handled the walkout, keeping the focus on what they could do to make their voices heard and working together to make Badger a safe and inclusive school. Lake Geneva Schools would like to thank the Lake Geneva Police Department, the students and staff for working together to provide an opportunity for our students to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech in a secure environment.

In conclusion:
• no students were prevented from leaving Badger High School
• students assembled by choice in the main gym
• no threats of violence against the school or students were made
• no guests were allowed into the building during the walkout time to ensure safety
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