NEW BRITAIN - A brief walkout to protest school violence is planned at New Britain High School next week, and teachers and administrators are supporting their students’ efforts to be heard.
During her report to the Board of Education on Monday, School Superintendent Nancy Sarra discussed some of the safety improvements on which the district has been working, then mentioned the walkout, scheduled for Wednesday, March 14.
“We thought this could be a great opportunity for us to really kind of listen to our students, listen to what they have to say, listen to what their feelings are and work with them,” said Assistant Principal Kerri-Lynn Major.
Major said two planning meetings have been held and a final one is scheduled for Tuesday.
At 11 a.m. March 14, students will go to their scheduled classes, from which video will be streamed of students reading statements they wrote on school violence. Around 11:15, students and faculty will line up on Mill Street, march to South Main Street, then loop back to the school.
March 14 is a half-day for the school, and the group is expected to return from the march around noon, the scheduled dismissal time.
To keep the walkout focused and welcoming, the event will not be political, Major said.
“It’s not about guns. It’s about standing up against school violence in general and about promoting school safety in general,” she said.
“I think the biggest piece is they feel heard. I think that they feel they’re able to express their opinions, in conjunction with staff, in a positive way,” Major said.
“Students are really excited about this,” Ellie Lewicki, a student representative to the school board, told members.
In other action Monday, the Board of Education:
nApproved bid waivers for reclaiming and repairing driveways and sidewalks at Chamberlain, Smith, Holmes and Roosevelt schools. The total for these repairs is $463,540.
nApproved bid waivers for new air conditioning and/or heat units at Chamberlain, Jefferson, Slade and Pulaski schools. Projects include replacing roof top units or gas furnaces. The total for these projects is $66,000.
nDiscussed new policy statements for strategic school improvement plans, curriculum development and homework. The board will vote on the new policies at its next meeting.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at email@example.com.