Detroit Edison Public School Academy wouldn't let students back in after walkout, student says
DETROIT (WJBK) - Thousands of students across the country got out of their seats and walked out at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to honor the victims of the Florida school shooting, including students right in Metro Detroit. But some teens say they were met with resistance.
Shiva Homan says she had every intention of joining fellow students in Detroit and across the country in a 17 minute National Walkout to mark one month since 17 kids were killed at Parkland High School.
But when she heard a morning announcement at Detroit Edison Public School Academy, she had second thoughts.
"On the PA system they talked about - if you walk out you won't be let in but you do have the right," she said.
She wants to have her say when it comes to school safety. So she texted her grandmother to let her know what was going on.
"When she mentioned to me that they weren't going to be allowed in school. I said I support you, and I put it in all capital letters," LaVern Homan-Williams said.
With that, Shiva and roughly 40 other students stood up at 10 a.m. and went to the common area for the demonstration. Then she went outside and waited on her grandmother to pick her up.
She was one of the lucky ones. She said not everyone was able to have a loved one pick them up, which means since they weren't allowed back in class, they were left to their own devices for the rest of the day.
"I saw people walking to McDonalds," Shiva said.
Her grandmother was shocked and concerned to see other kids walking about so she went in and spoke to the principal and wanted to know why the students weren't being allowed back in.
"What she mentioned to me was that some of the kids didn't know what the movement was about. And I said that still should not have taken away their right from coming back into the school. I said what about their safety?" Homan-Williams said.
She also said she was concerned about a perceived lack of planning.
"I asked that question, were the parents notified if they had to pick up their kids up if they participated. I got silence. I said no they weren't."
We tried to speak with the superintendent of the academy. We received this written statement from Principal Natalie Turner:
"We established guidelines for the day to ensure the safety of all of our students. Some students chose to support the National Walkout. After the 17 minutes expired, the principal brought some students back inside to discuss and debrief on the importance of the day. Some parents picked up their children after the walkout. Students without parental supervision were encouraged to return to class."
That statement doesn't satisfy Homan-Williams who says that's not the impression she received during her meeting with the same principal.
"I think there should be a letter sent home explaining what happened and I hope this never happens again."