Coronado High students claim school intimidated against walkout

Posted at 2:38 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 20:33:32-04

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - A group of Coronado High School students claimed they faced intimidation by staff and security over a planned nationwide walkout over gun reform.

Friday, students across the country walked out of class calling for reform to the nation's gun laws. In San Diego, numerous students from multiple schools took part in the protest.

Coronado High student Shasha Hofisi told 10News the school had officers at entrances as intimidation against students who may want to walk out.

RELATED: San Diego County students taking part in April 20 National School Walkout

"We actually saw students start to get out of their classroom and go back in because of the police," Hofisi said. "Having police officers on campus standing in front of the gates was actually quite intimidating."

Earlier this week, Coronado Unified School District Superintendent Karl Mueller sent out an email to parents addressing the planned walkout:

"All students in CUSD, regardless of their own personal views, are entitled to uninterrupted access to education, free from distraction, in a safe and supportive environment. Students leaving their classrooms and our campus hinders our ability to provide these services to all of our children.

Coronado Unified will uphold district attendance policies on Friday. Students choosing to leave school grounds during instructional time will be marked truant and appropriate discipline will be dispensed.

Truancy may carry classroom/academic consequences in addition to administrative actions including, but not limited to, end-of-year student activities.

These opportunities for engagement are encouraged and available to our students every day.

I am inspired by our students and am hopeful that their actions will manifest deliberate and productive ways to foster a stronger and more connected community in Coronado."

Despite the letter, student protestor, Savannah Rose, claimed an assembly  Friday during the planned walkout was held as a way to deter students from joining the protest.

"It prevented a lot of kids from being able to talk, to speak, to protest," Rose said. "As we went into the assembly there were officers guarding the doors.

"I feel like a lot of kids would have participated in this walkout were it not for the threats sent out by email or told by staff or the intimidation."

RELATED: Florida school district cancels walkouts after shooting

The school district didn't respond to questions regarding Friday's walkout.

Students from local schools, including Clairemont, Mission Bay, Hoover, and Del Norte high schools, walked out or held on-campus discussions over gun reform. The walkouts were held Friday to coincide with the anniversary of the Columbine High shooting in 1999.