About 50 Ferndale High School students gathered in the parking lot of the school during the last period of the school day today, May 17th, and marched to the Ferndale Police Station to bring attention to sexual assault.
Organizers told My Ferndale News they organized the walk-out to bring attention to sexual harassment and assault they said they and others were experiencing. March participants said their complaints have not been adequately dealt with when reported so the problems continue.
Many in the group wrote of their experiences in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the Ferndale Police Station.
Ferndale School District officials issued the following statement in response to the walk-out.
The Ferndale School District is legally and philosophically committed to the safety and security of all students. In fact, this year, we have doubled our counseling staff to ensure that we are able to address the social and emotional needs of students. We are also fortunate to be one of just a few school districts in the country that has received two federal grants to work with students on promoting healthy relationships and preventing issues related to dating and sexual violence. To this end, all of our staff have been trained in a protocol for responding to a student who comes to them with concerns about a related issue.
The student walk-out today is a response to a movement that started outside of Ferndale. We support students First Amendment rights. However, normal attendance protocol are in place this afternoon.