PCHS Staff listens to students concerns, questions and ease fears

“I am thankful that I go to a school where I know I matter and that my safety isn’t a joke to the school system,” said Kourtney Laudick

Throughout the nation, students are feeling uneasy about their safety within the walls of their school and a frustration of nothing being done to protect them. As a result, several student protests days have been promoted where they “walkout” of class.

Pendleton County High School students were considering participating on the first scheduled for Wed., Feb. 21.

With information garnered through the tipline, the administration at PCHS had an inkling of the students concerns and jumped into action. Throughout the morning, teachers were talking with students and Assistant Principal Lisa Manor met with the Principal Advisory Council to get the pulse of the students.

In ironic timing, the building principals were at a school safety training in Northern Kentucky where they were listening to a parent of a Sandy Hook student who had lost their life.

Principal Matt Shafer and Executive Director Pupil Personnel and Student Services Matt Compton decided it was best for them to leave the training and head back to address the concerns of the students.     Minutes before the walkout was scheduled, Shafer talked with the entire school via the PA system about the safety of a walkout and offered individual grade level meetings for students to address concerns.

"We wanted to reassure them that we are constantly examining procedures,” he pointed out. “I am a former social studies teacher and know that a good protest is powerful but they need to know why they are protesting.”

As they met with each grade level, students were encouraged and offered up questions about their concerns of what they are seeing.

“After school kids don’t think about who we let in the building. I asked Mr. Shafer about it and procedures if we are in the gym, auditorium or cafeteria,” said Kourtney Laudick. She indicated that he encouraged her to see the adult supervising their group and have the adult handle the situation.