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March 12, 2018 10:06 PM

Lincoln High School Not Planning Physical Walkout; District Clarifies Policy

Sioux Falls, SD

Since a deadly school shooting in Parkland Florida took the lives of 17 people on Valentine's Day, there have been many conversations about what comes next, and how to remember the victims. One possibility is a school walk-out.

Across the country on Wednesday, students will take some kind of action one month to the day after the deadly shooting in Florida. On Monday, we learned what's planned at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls.

Lincoln High School senior Courtney Merchant says the plan at Lincoln is for students to stay inside the school, instead of a literal walk-out.

"On Wednesday we've decided to keep it more of a memorial service, and we thought that it would be better to honor the fallen, and we thought that it might be in better taste to just kind of sit, vigil and have a moment of silence," Merchant said.

They'll also speak about what happened in Florida.

"We'll just say a couple words about who died in the shooting, and then we'll actually voice our more political opinions in the March For Our Lives on March 24th," Merchant said.

"If anything is to happen in our buildings, number one, we want to make sure that there is a good deal of respect for the loss of life, both students and adults, in Florida," Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher said.

There will also be talk of action.

"About what it is that we're doing, what is it we're standing for, so we want to use this as a teachable moment for our students and for our school community," Maher said.

If a student physically leaves school, Maher says it will be handled as it usually is.

"That happens on a daily basis, where kids skip school, and we do have consequences in place for when kids are in a spot where it's not okay for them to be, so we wouldn't do anything more than what we would do on a daily basis," Maher said.

Which could be at least detention. Instead, Maher says the district wants to see “a teachable moment."

"It's an opportunity in the school to have time with students to reflect on school safety and to reflect on the loss of life," Maher said.

Originally, Merchant wanted to leave the building. But she supports the current plan.

"It's actually kind of a safety issue, with physically walking out of the school, we're exposed to more dangers, and if there's someone who wants to cause harm to us, who is emblazoned by the recent shooting, they're given a lot more leeway to do that," Merchant said.

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