Last night, members of the Lafayette Parish School Board and the public discussed the school system's policy to allow students to take part in a March 14 walkout for 17 minutes in support of the students who died in the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

Lafayette Parish School Board members ultimately voted to instead have a moment of silence for the victims and allow students to wear blue in honor of all of those killed. The moment of silence will take the place of the 17 minute walkout.

Here is the press release from the Lafayette Parish School Board concerning what will happen if students decided to take part in a walkout anyway:

At the regular school board meeting of March 7, 2018, board members approved the following action:

“…in lieu of the 17 minute walk-out, scheduled March 14, that all schools in Lafayette Parish provide a 1 minute moment of silence, following the morning announcements, to honor the victims of the Florida School Shooting. In addition to the moment of silence, students and staff shall be allowed, and are encouraged to wear a blue shirt with blue jeans, or a uniform bottom, on the same day, as a symbol of peace and in remembrance of the victims.”

Based on this action, after the 1 minute of silence in the morning, regular classroom instruction should take place for the remainder of the school day. Administrators and teachers should emphasize to students that they are expected to remain in class for instruction. In the event that students choose to walk out, students and parents must be aware that conduct which materially disrupts classwork or substantially invades the rights of others is not protected by the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. Behavior that is respectful and does not disrupt the educational process is allowed by the Constitution. Schools administrators should be prepared to have faculty and staff available to monitor hallways and designated gathering areas in case additional supervision is needed.

Students had been sent home with permission slips for their parents to sign if they wanted to participate in the walkout.