New York Education Commissioner Supports Planned Walkouts


New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia ELLEN ABBOTT / WRVO NEWS FILE PHOTO

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she supports students who plan to demonstrate today against gun violence. School walkouts are planned across the nation at 10 a.m., including in New York state. It’s an attempt to pressure lawmakers to act after the shooting that left 17 students dead in Parkland, Florida, last month.

Elia says school officials and teachers should work with students to make it a learning experience about civic engagement and what it means to be an active citizen in American.

“It doesn’t have to be just the opportunity that kids have to walk out for 17 minutes,” Elia said. “It can be very much a part of the work that’s done in a classroom. What am I really thinking and why am I doing this? And what does that mean? And what would be the changes that I would want in any legislation or in any actions taken by the adults in this world to address some of the concerns I have?”

Several schools in central New York are participating in the walkout, including Jamesville-Dewitt High School in Syracuse, Cicero North Syracuse High School in Cicero and Donovan Middle School in Utica.