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West Liberty, OH

WL-S chooses not to endorse Wednesday's national student walkout (Audio included)

Though the topic was not addressed during Tuesday night's monthly board meeting, West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong shared afterward how the district will handle tomorrow's national high school student walkout to protest gun violence.

Presently, two demonstrations are planned for Wednesday. One, which is endorsed by the school, will take place inside the building during non-instructional time. The goal will be to recognize the 17 that died in the Parkland tragedy.

The other is scheduled at 10:00 A.M. (the scheduled national walkout time). This politically-themed walkout is protesting gun violence, especially as a result of the Parkland shootings. The students are going to leave the building. This demonstration does not have the support of the district.

The district wants to remain neutral on political issues. The students, in normal situations, are not allowed to leave their classrooms or the building without permission.

Because they are breaking school rules by participating in a politically-themed protest, the students will receive some type of punishment for their actions (probably detention). This consequence was communicated to parents Tuesday evening.

Hissong told the board that he is beginning the process of exploring the possibility of hiring a communication specialist. The desired person should have marketing skills and handle the task of keeping residents updated. Having social media skills would be helpful. Several options to finding the candidate were discussed including working with the ESC. They potentially could help with funding the salary.

Hissong talks about the student protest and the possible communication specialist.

Elementary principal Aaron Hollar told the board that the elementary school will have a Family Literacy Night on Thursday, March 22nd from 6:00 to 7:30. The theme of the evening is The Wizard of Oz.

Hissong told the board that summer school opportunities will be expanded for students thanks to a $100,000 grant that the district received. He indicated that transportation could be provided for students in some cases.

The board will have a special meeting on Tuesday, April 10th at 7:00 P.M. The next regular meeting is Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00 P.M.

We encourage open dialogue among people who may disagree. Difficult conversations must be had sometimes to make progress. If you disagree, please disagree respectfully. Cruelty will not be tolerated. This is a family friendly group.
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