OWOSSO PUBLIC SCHOOLS (OPS) students honored the victims of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, joining students across the country in participating in National Walkout Day on Wednesday, March 14. Instead of protesting, however, the staffs of each OPS building, with the help of student leaders, conducted alternative activities aimed at affecting positive, lasting change to improve safety, security and happiness within the school system.
Elementary students engaged in “Character Counts” lessons that focused on the “Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.”
At Owosso Middle School, Principal Collins and OMS Student Council leaders worked together to create and implement the day’s lessons. Following a moment of silence at 10 a.m., students broke off into groups to come up with 17 ways per class to make OMS a safe space for all students.
Owosso High School Student Council leaders, staff and administrators created a lesson with the intent of honoring the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida and engaging students in offering 17 solutions that make a positive impact on the school. The topics discussed Wednesday will be shared with Rep. Ben Frederick, who was scheduled to meet with OHS Student Council members on Friday, March 16.
A community breakfast was hosted by Lincoln High School, with school liaison officer Mike Wheeler and Owosso Public Safety Chief Kevin Lenkart as public speakers. Wheeler and Lenkart educated the students on being mindful of their school’s culture and possible school threats. Following breakfast, students broke into small groups to engage in activities and share their concerns. The discussions led to the students writing letters to present at the upcoming Michigan Alternative Education Organization Legislative Day.
Owosso High School students were allowed to leave class at 10 a.m. and form groups to create their lists of 17 solutions. Students gathered in classrooms, in the hallways and even outside, with a group of nearly 100 students choosing to congregate near the flagpoles in front of the main entrance to the high school. Many can be seen brainstorming solutions to bring about change in the community, while others protested gun violence in a fashion more consistent with the National Walkout Day protest theme. The group did have a moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland, FL school shooting.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)