A large number of Plano East Senior High students staged a walkout during school on Friday. The protests reportedly stemmed from an incident of sexual harassment between two students. Demonstrators say that they were not satisfied with the administration’s response to the alleged incident.
“People are mad because the principal just seemed to blow it off,” said one student who asked not to be identified. “Somebody should do something because this just doesn’t seem right.”
Plano ISD officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the alleged incident. Nor did they respond to questions regarding what, if any, action was taken by school administrators in response.
District spokesperson Rosemary Gladden confirmed that Plano East administrators were aware of the potential demonstration ahead of time. She said that they shared guidance and policies with student organizers and provided guidelines to campus staff, keeping student safety a top priority.
“Students are allowed, by policy, to peacefully invoke their first amendment rights. As school employees, campus staff members cannot prevent this act of student expression, nor can they participate in organizing or promoting it,” she said. “However, in the interest of safety for all, school staff and designated safety personnel are prepared to monitor students if a demonstration occurs. Policy also states that student expression may not materially and substantially interfere with school operations, allowing schools to establish an appropriate time, place and manner in which this student-led initiative can occur.”
No incidents were reported during the student-led demonstration. The exact number of students who participated has not been revealed