It was disappointing to read the Ysleta Independent School District’s superintendent’s comments in the Times the other day:
“I think what’s being irresponsibly promoted is the idea that this district and Parkland Middle school endorsed or promoted a walkout. Nothing could be further from the truth”
The superintendent told the Times that the district’s crisis management response team was on hand in anticipation of the event.
The students were allowed to leave their classrooms and congregate on the school grounds.
How can students just get up en masse and be allowed to leave their classrooms without permission from the school? Shouldn’t we think that the students would be disciplined if they left without permission? They won’t be disciplined because they were allowed to leave.
An earlier Times article wrote of the superintendent:
He said there were walkouts at almost all the district’s secondary schools — mainly to the football fields or ending in moments of silence.
The dictionary definition of irresponsible is not showing a proper sense of responsibility. There is no question that the district did at least facilitate the walkout. Claiming that the public is irresponsible is ludicrous.
Time will tell if anyone did anything wrong that they should be held responsible for.
What we have not heard from the superintendent is that he will take steps to see to it that this cannot happen again.
We deserve better
Because kids have never ditched before, whether it was classes or pep rallies… Heck Senior Ditch Day is pretty much accepted across the nation!
This was an unfortunate incident because a handful of students decided to take advantage of the situation.
I wouldn’t say the district promoted or facilitated the walkout, but rather they allowed the walkout. Just think, what would happen if they tried to prevent it? Are they going to lock down the school, maybe lock all the classroom doors, maybe chain the exit doors to the school, maybe chain the fences around the school? Will the principal or staff stand at the exit and try to prevent anybody from exiting? They can’t exactly physically restrain any students from walking out because that might be considered assault. All they can do is say that the walkout is prohibited and anyone who chooses to walkout will be disciplined. Allowing the students to protest peacefully and in a somewhat organized manner into the football stadium or something was a good option.
The school district allowed students to leave their classrooms and gather together *on campus.* That was what they allowed. As epkamikazi says, a few chose to take advantage of the situation, and that is *not* the district’s “responsibility,” or anyone else’s!
It’s an elementary school. Yes, teachers could lock kids in classroom—in the elementary schools I went to (and as an Army brat there were 3 all over the country), you needed a teacher’s permission to leave the classroom. Or the school could have announced a minute of silence and then gone back to teaching. By letting them outside, they literally opened the door to this. Sorry, I grew up when parents spanked and schools maintained discipline. I don’t see how the school isn’t liable for this. 6th graders aren’t adults. I could understand the blurred lines at the high school level, but not in elementary school.
First of all it is a Middle School not Elementary. Secondly EVERY time I ditched classes/school it was on me… I never got permission from the school OR my parents and if I had ever got caught, it would’ve been on me. Fortunately I never got caught.
The district and/or school administration could possibly be held at fault for the student’s death if it is determined that district and/or school was negligent by either doing something wrong or failing to do something altogether that contributed to the death of a student.
1. Did the district/school fail to provide adequate supervision for the size of the football field and the number of students who walked out?
2. If the district/school provided adequate supervision then why did they fail to stop the students from going over the fence?
3. Did the district/school fail to recognize and provide a safe “walkout” environment for the developmental stage of the school’s age demographic?
4. The district/school administrations were aware of the planned walkout in advance and even though they claimed they did not endorse or promote the walkout they acknowledged they would allow students to participate.
Since this was not an official school assembly, did they notify parents/legal guardians and give them the opportunity to grant permission for their child to participate or not participate in the walkout?
A formal inquiry needs to be held.
The superintendent’s comments are inconsistent with his previous representation about the number of students who left as well as the security personnel
But what is most disconcerting is De La Torre’s statement that, The majority of the students at Parkland Middle probably didn’t even know why they left class.
1. The family accused the school of failing to protect the 11-year-old boy killed during a walkout and is aggrieved to know the school refuses to take any responsibility in protecting an 11-year-old child in a walkout that they sanctioned.
2. 400 out of 1,400 students walked out of class
3. Parkland Middle School set up a designated gathering spot on the football field for students who planned to walkout to keep them from leaving campus.
4. 9 school staffers watched as the students gathered on the football field for about 15 minutes before students returned to class.
5. 22 students left the Parkland campus during the walkout, said De La Torre adding that the majority of students stayed in class. The numbers are higher than officials initially stated.