TPS sends out guidelines for walkout after Betty Shelby verdict, no students participate

Posted at 5:23 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 19:12:50-04

TULSA -- Tulsa Public Schools prepared for a walkout of students in response to the Betty Shelby not guilty verdict on Wednesday.

Posts circulated on social media about a walk, but TPS officials said no students participated.

The district sent a “School-wide Plan for Walkout” to faculty on Thursday in preparation.

In the memo, teachers were instructed not to mark absences for students who chose to exercise their right if they went to the football field, the designated walkout area. Teachers were instructed to keep a list of students who left class.

The plan said security officers, counselors, social workers, teachers and the principal should be on the football field if the walkout took place. Teachers were told to be supportive of students and talk to them about peaceful protesting and their First Amendment rights.

Tashawna Bland, a parent of two TPS students, said talking about the Crutcher verdict with her children is inevitable.

“Some kids want to know,” Bland said. “My kids ask me. My 13-year old asks me, ‘Mother, what’s going to happen when I go to the next level?’ I tell him, ‘Son, stay encouraged regardless of what is happening.'"

Bland said she believes it is important for students to have the right to express their views.

“It also affects children as well,” Bland said. “They don’t want to go outside thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to get shot because of the color of my skin by a person who is supposed to have something to do with my life.’ “
Thursday was the last day of school for TPS.

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