“Our Walkout Declaration” By SCS Students
We, Shelby County School students, have seen violence in our schools firsthand.
We have seen people with mental health issues and family trauma put second to testing, attempting to make us more “orderly.”
We have seen LGBTQ+ youth, immigrants, survivors, and students with learning disabilities be silenced, forced into spaces where they feel unsafe, and denied the counseling and the support that they need.
We have seen our classmates be sexually assaulted and harassed by other youth and adults in our schools and then be blamed for it.
We have become numb to the loss of friends and classmates to gun violence, jails, drugs, and suicide.
We have come to accept this violence as our lives.
We, Shelby County Students, are choosing now NOT TO ACCEPT THIS. We are choosing to fight. We are choosing to get our voice heard and recognized. We are choosing to be part of creating solutions to strengthen our schools.
We are also choosing to partner with Shelby County Schools teachers and administration. We know many amazing adults in Shelby County Schools who stand with us and have supported us in saying these words now. We also know that those who work for SCS, like us, want safer schools and work hard every day and try to make that a reality.
This walkout is the start of a unified partnership for what we believe is more important than any test, class lesson, or worksheet that we could be doing right now. During this time, we will be building a unified SCS Student recommendation to SCS and the state for what we believe needs to be done to make our schools safer.
At the end of the walkout, we will have created a pool of recommendations by SCS students. These recommendations will be posted on social media with the hashtag #StudentSolutions901.
Each school has chosen how they will go about gathering these recommendations. Our hope is to get these recommendations out there in a way that cannot be ignored.
To all the SCS students out there, stop accepting the violence in our schools. Stop believing you can’t do anything about it. Stop allowing others to silence you.
It is time to rise up together and come to the table.
To SCS teachers, staff, administrators, we need your support, guidance and willingness to listen. We know you work hard to make our schools safer and they are safer because of you. We also know that to make our schools even safer, we need to be in partnership with you. We need to bridge the divide between us and we need to value the insight and knowledge we both bring to the table.
We hope that you will join us in this walkout on April 19 and that you will also share your recommendations and post them on social media with #AdultSolutions901.
To everyone, let us SEE each other. See the value and power of each of us. Let us not allow our differences blind us to each other’s wisdom and insight on the issues that affect us all.
Find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org.