The Oconee County Democratic Committee is sponsoring a local March For Our Lives Rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 24 at Oconee Veterans Park.
The local event is part of a national day of demonstrations following the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Students from Oconee County High School and North Oconee County High School are scheduled to speak at the Oconee County event.
The Oconee County Board of Education, at its 5 p.m. meeting tomorrow, is to get a report from Director of Student Services Dallas LeDuff on safety and security measures at Oconee County Schools.
All Oconee County Schools principals are currently reviewing their safety procedures and plans, according to Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, director of communications for Oconee County Schools.
In addition, the systems schools are participating in lockdown drills in cooperation with the Oconee County Sheriff's Office, Jimenez told me in an email message last week.
A drill was conducted at Oconee County High School on Monday of last week, she said. Districtwide active shooter training is scheduled for March.
LeDuff’s report will be part of the Board of Education work session on Monday. The meeting is held in the System’s administrative office, 34 School Street in Watkinsville.
The Oconee County Rally on March 24 will be held at the Pavilion near the tennis courts in Oconee Veterans Park, 3500 Hog Mountain Road.
Ann Stoneburner, vice-chair of the Oconee Democratic Committee, said the local rally is to show “support of thousands of high school students across Georgia and the nation who are insisting that lawmakers everywhere put an end to the mass killings of school children.”
“We invite the public to offer its sympathy for the slain and support for young students everywhere as they seek solutions to school violence,” Stoneburner said in announcing the event.
Those who are interested will will have the opportunity to walk the trails in the Park in memory of those who have lost their lives in mass shootings, Stoneburner said.
Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace, representing Oconee County in the Georgia House of Representatives, have agreed to offer brief remarks in support of the students and their goals.
Chalis Montgomery and Richard Winfield, Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 10th Congressional District, also have agreed to speak.
Stoneburner said the event is nonpartisan and that she has invited various Oconee County officials and civic leaders to join the local students in speaking at the rally.
After the remarks, there will be time in the program for the speakers and audience to talk with one another “about the difficulties and obstacles faced in making communities safer,” Stoneburner said.
March For Our Lives Goals
According to the web site of March For Our Lives, the student movement begun by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students has three goals.
1. Pass a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the one used to kill 17 people and injure more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
2. Prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines such as the ones the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School used.
3. Tighten background checks on those purchasing guns.
“We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution,” the web page states. “But with that right comes responsibility.”
Separate from the March For Our Lives demonstrations on March 24, a national school 17-minute walkout is being organized by the youth arm of the Women’s March at 10 a.m. on March 14, and a national high school walkout is being organized for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, Colorado, shootings.