Students praised for walkout response

Superintendent says teens showed respect and honor, whether they were inside or outside
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Cedar Grove-Belgium Supt. Jeanne Courneene lauded the student body for its response to the national school walkout on March 14 in reaction to the fatal shooting in Parkland, Fla., a month earlier.

“Whether our students be outside our high school or inside our high school, I am incredibly proud of our student body who displayed a very high level of respect, thankfulness and honor for those who lost their lives on Feb. 14,” Supt. Jeanne Courneene said.

It was incorrectly reported in last week’s Ozaukee Press that students were not allowed to participate in a walkout. Students were allowed to participate with parent permission.

Nine students participated in the walkout.

“Today went incredibly smooth,” she told the School Board at its March 14 meeting, “and that’s kudos to our kids and where they stand and perhaps what they’re doing differently to make a difference versus just maybe standing outside idle.”

Inside the high school, some classes held discussions, Principal Josh Ketterhagen said.

At the middle school, Principal Kelly Dzurick said staff promoted the theme that spread via social media called “walk up,” which encourages students to engage their peers who sit alone, thank their teachers and get to know people who have different views.

Students, Dzurick said, participated in activities that generated 17 ways they could show acts of kindness toward others, one for each life lost in the Parkland shooting.

In the continuing discussion on school safety, Courneene provided the board with a document about TruArmor, a glass laminate resistant to bullets, baseball bats and other penetration and chemicals that schools and other entities across the country have installed. The information came from a recent presentation by district parent and Navy SEAL commander Shane Anderson that the district hosted.

Courneene said much of the district’s schools are full of glass. While it’s aesthetically pleasing, that needs to be balanced with safety, she said.

The cost of TruArmor would be nearly $16,000 for the district, not including installation.

“I’m not saying I’m for or against (it),” Courneene said.

Another element to consider are tourniquet kits for classrooms at $15 each.  Courneene said according to Anderson, eight of the victims in Florida bled to death without any treatment.

The two options, Courneene said, are “measures we can think about and keep the conversation going.”

In addition, the high school had planned to hold an assembly this week to discuss what students should be aware of and teach them the shooter response called ALICE, which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.

“Teachers know it and out staff knows it, but our students don’t necessarily know it,” Ketterhagen said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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