Officials Say Fire Drill During Shooting Walkout Was Mistake

Administrators express regret

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Officials at a Florida charter school have acknowledged that it was a mistake to hold a fire drill during a nationwide walkout on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.

Alan Black, director of schools for the Lakeland charter network, said in an email to the Ledger that the administrators at McKeel Academy of Technology “deeply regret” the handling of Wednesday morning’s walkout.

Administrators had previously said that any students who left class would be punished. Black said the intent of holding the fire drill around the time of the walkout was to allow those students who wished to protest a safe place.

Some students who hadn’t planned to join the walkout said they felt forced to take part, while students who were planning to participate felt like their actions were being undermined.

Most other public high schools in Polk County allowed students to leave class Wednesday for 17 minutes, one for each victim in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), http://www.theledger.com

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News Talk Florida Staff