Police will provide security support for 'March for Our Lives' at Batavia HS
Students at Batavia High School will participate in a nationwide high school student protest tomorrow called March for Our Lives in response to mass shootings on school campuses, most notably the murder of 17 students Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla.
Students will stand outside the school for 17 minutes starting at 10 a.m. in honor of the 17 students killed in Parkland.
The school district is allowing the protest to go forward and has requested Batavia PD station a police officer at the school to ensure the safety of the students, Chief Shawn Heubusch told WBTA this morning.
"We’re there to support the school district in any need that they have," Heubusch said. "They’ve given them (the students) a chance to participate in this national walkout and we support them in any way we can. As far as it being right or wrong, I don’t have an opinion on that. I just want to make sure that the children remain safe."
Senior Sydney Atchinson has taken a leadership role in organizing the local protest and invited local media to cover it.
Joan Elizabeth Seamans, who recently dropped out of the Democratic primary for the NY-27 race, also sent out a press release notifying area media that the protest would be taking place at several WNY high schools and that it will be coupled with a voter registration drive, encouraging students who will be 18 by Nov. 6 to register to vote.
“I am very proud of our youth here in WNY and throughout the country who are ready to use their voices to fight for change. They have demonstrated a fierceness we haven’t seen in decades" said Seamans, founder of YVYV NY (Your Voice Your Vote NY). "It will be interesting to see how this new and energized voting block uses their passion to influence legislation."
Seamans said the event has been organized by Women's March Youth EMPOWER, an affiliate of the Women’s March.
Heubusch also discussed the issue of school resource officers in Batavia City Schools.
The discussions, he said, have been ongoing for many years, not just since the Feb. 14 shooting.
"We certainly hope we will eventually be able to supply a school resource officer to the district," Heubusch said. "Currently we are prevented from doing that by some fiscal limitations for not only the city but as well as the school district. Part of that ongoing discussion is to develop ways to be able to pay for these positions if they do come to fruition.
"We support the idea of having a school resource officer in our district, if not more than one. It’s just a matter of getting down to the brass tacks of paying for that position and funding it long term."
Here is a suggestion. Instead of a symbolic protest, to get out of class, during school hours, on the taxpayer dime; the organizers, the teachers, and students can meet on a Saturday at a designated school with Police protection. Nobody gets paid for the day.
It will be interesting to see how many will attend.
NOT on a Saturday!! They sleep until late afternoon!!
Yeah! How dare students speak out about their peers getting gunned down!