Kingsport schools to mark 'Safe Schools Day' on Wednesday

Rick Wagner • Updated Mar 13, 2018 at 8:56 AM

KINGSPORT — A local school system has designated Wednesday, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., school massacre as “Safe Schools Day” for about 7,700 students.

Kingsport City Schools has designated March 14 as "Safe Schools Day" in what a news release calls a “productive and meaningful way to honor the victims of school tragedies while striving to provide the safest possible environment for KCS students and staff.”

The release said all students and employees are encouraged to show solidarity for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS) in Florida by wearing that school’s colors of maroon, gray and white on Wednesday.

March 14 and April 20 — the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings — have been identified in national media as national school walkout days.

On Feb. 14, a one-time student from the Parkland school allegedly went to the school and killed 17 people, igniting a national debate on school safety. A group of about 23 D-B students, mostly freshmen, staged a walkout on Feb. 20

Depending on the specific school, the news release said, KCS students will take part in activities emphasizing proactive measures that support safe school environments.

Activities may include:

— Devoting time when students can write to local and other Tennessee legislators, members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Kingsport Board of Education to advocate for measures that students deem appropriate for decreasing school violence;

— Reviewing communication avenues related to options students have in informing school personnel of potential threats to safety, including reminders to talk with parents, report concerns to a teacher, counselor or administrator and to utilize the anonymous Quick Tip service found on all KCS websites and posted in schools;

— Reviewing safety drill procedures with students; reviewing current safety processes, procedures and structures; and reviewing school safety-related tips and suggestions; 

— Holding a moment of silence for the 17 who lost their lives in the shooting at MSDHS and the many others who have been victims of school violence.

KCS Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse announced March 6 the formation of a school safety task force. The body is to help communicate school safety programs to students, parents and the public as well as look for ways to improve school safety. 

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