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Lincoln High students to participate in walkout

Science expo details also at Tuesday school board meeting
By: Mackenzie Myers, Reporter
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A week after a Lincoln High School student threatened to “shoot [the] school up” and nearly a month after the Parkland, Florida shooting that left 17 dead, school safety remains on the minds of many within the Western Placer Unified School District.

Board of Trustees members and District Superintendent Scott Leaman addressed the issue at their meeting Tuesday. Student representative Rebecca Luy, a Lincoln High School senior, said students plan to participate in a nationwide walkout next week protesting gun violence in schools.

Students will walk out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. Wednesday, a month after the Parkland shooting. They will remain outside for 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 students who were killed.

Leaman said the district is looking at the way area schools are handling their planned walkouts and are developing a protocol. Students can participate if they wish and will not be disciplined, he said, as long as they stay on campus and aren’t out of the classroom for longer than 17 minutes.

On the administration’s part, Leaman said he and staff are looking at steps to make sure they’re prepared for a potential incident.

“In California, many people say we need stronger gun laws but our gun laws are already pretty strong,” Leaman said. “We’re looking at other items to make sure kids are safe on campus.”

Leaman said he met with district principals after the Parkland incident and will meet again to discuss safety plans. Parents can expect an email in the near future detailing the tools and preparations the school has in place in the event of further student threats, he said. 

“The environment we’re in right now, it’s just not an environment for students to make idle threats,” Leaman said.

 

In other news:

 

-          In the meeting’s closed-session portion, the board voted to release one temporary certificated staff member, reduce the position of another and reassign three others within the district after the 2017-18 school year.

            Leaman said these changes were due to funding but that they are not atypical. By law, school districts have to notify staff by March 15 of any changes in their positions for the upcoming school year.

 

-          Lincoln High science teacher Marilou Edwards and three student leaders for the 2018 Science Expo presented before the board about the expo, to be held from 5:30 to 8 tonight in the school’s gymnasium.

            The event is open to the public tonight and will host only the district’s third-graders on Friday.

            Expo leader Makala Maydwell said the expo originally started 13 years ago with one room at Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School and lasted one hour. Now the two-and-a-half hour event contains more than 100 student projects, from making ice cream with liquid nitrogen to welding to rockets and 3D printing.

            Money raised with the expo’s raffle prizes provides scholarships for graduating seniors, student Jordan Bowman said. The school has been able to give thousands of dollars to students in scholarships, according to Edwards.

 

The next regularly scheduled Western Placer Unified School District board meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 20 at Creekside Oaks Elementary School, 2030 1st St.