Press Releases

Glen Rock Students Support Nation-Wide Walkout

GRHS Principal John Arlotta and social studies teacher Kathleen Walter with student body. Credits: Courtesy Glen Rock High School
GRHS students release white balloons in remembrance of the 17 victims at Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida. Credits: Courtesy of Glen Rock Schools

GLEN ROCK, NJ - On Wednesday, March 14, students at Glen Rock High School took part in a nation-wide initiative in recognition of the recent school shootings in Parkland, Fla. Organized by The Women’s March Youth Empower, the initiative encouraged students to walk out of class at 10 a.m. on the one-month anniversary of the deadly assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in which seventeen students and staff were killed.

At GRHS, student leaders alerted the administration early on of their interest in participating. After careful consideration, the district determined that a school-wide assembly, focused on First Amendment rights, would be an appropriate lead into the student’s demonstration. At 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, students were called to the school gymnasium, where members of the teaching staff discussed historical examples of citizens’ rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. The presentation concluded just before 10 a.m. at which time the students who chose to participate in the walkout moved from the building to the school’s football field track area.

There, student leaders opened the event with the singing of the National Anthem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Two of the student organizers spoke to the crowd of high school students and staff about school violence, with a focus on the incident at Douglas. Seventeen white balloons were released as the names of the victims were read. Following a moment of silence, the speakers concluded with students being encouraged to register to vote and to take part in future similar events around the state and in Washington, D.C. The event concluded at 10:17 a.m. – the seventeen-minute timeframe predetermined in honor of the Parkland victims.

Sign Up for E-News

According to Interim Superintendent Bruce Watson, “While we respect and support the rights of our students to take a position, we were extremely cautious about the execution of the walkout with regards to student and staff safety. We chose to make this a learning opportunity for our students through the in-school assembly, and utilized all district resources and the support of the Glen Rock Police Department to secure the campus for the student-led walkout.”

Added GRHS Principal John Arlotta, “It was also important to us that all students’ beliefs were respected, including those individuals who chose not to participate. Those students remained in the gym following the assembly until the other students returned. We are pleased with the outcome of today’s event and especially of how our students conducted themselves.”

While the decision was made earlier last week for students in Glen Rock Middle School - which shares the building with the high school - not to participate in the GRHS event, school administration provided the auditorium as a space for middle school students to gather.  At 10 a.m., students who chose to participate quietly left their classrooms and convened in the auditorium where a social studies teacher shared information about constitutional amendments, freedom of speech and the history of demonstrations. His comments were followed by a student-led event that included reading the names and a brief bio of the 17 victims, a moment of silence, and then personal comments on school violence and its impact on today’s school students.

Dr. Jennifer Wirt, principal of GRMS, stated, “I am proud of the way our students handled themselves today. They showed the utmost respect for the subject matter and each other. Their comments were sincere and demonstrated great maturity.”


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Fair Lawn/Glen Rock

Fair Lawn Police Blotter - April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018


4:55 pm - Narcotics:  Det. Nicholas Snyder, Det. Anthony Lugo, Det. Mark Wyka, Det. Paul Donohue & Det/Lt. Tim O’Shaughnessy responded to a residence on 35th Street and arrested Gabriel Moreno, age 23 of Fair Lawn, after an investigation and subsequent search warrant turned up 217 grams of marijuana, $3,637 in cash, assorted drug paraphernalia & a digital scale in ...

Glen Rock Police Blotter - April 23, 2018

During the period between April 16 and April 21, 2018, members of the GRPD handled 430 calls for service, the highlights of which included:


4:40 PM –  A Glen Rock man reported that he had deposited funds to his Bank of America account using the ATM at the Rock Road branch in the CBD on the evening of March 15.  He subsequently found that his balance was off by ...

Lower Faber Field Dedicated in Honor of Former Councilman, Mark McCullough

April 25, 2018

GLEN ROCK, NJ - It wasn’t quite softball weather but the crowds braved the chill on April 8 to witness the dedication of the Lower Faber softball field in honor of former Glen Rock councilman Mark McCullough. In addition to serving on the council, many town boards, and as Municipal Chair of the Glen Rock Democrats, McCullough dedicated his time to coaching a variety of sports ...

Glen Rock Community School Summer Camp Registration is Underway

GLEN ROCK, NJ - Camp registration is underway for summer programs of the Glen Rock Community School. Children from preschool to high school will find something special to fill those long summer days ahead.

Day Camps – Busy Bee, for grades 1-5, and Jr. Busy Bee, for incoming kindergartners, are all-inclusive day camps that offer a wide variety of games, sports, arts and crafts, ...

U.S. Chamber Presents Gottheimer with Spirit of Enterprise Award for Support of Pro-Growth Policies

PARAMUS, N.J. -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today honored Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) with its annual Spirit of Enterprise Award, given in recognition of his support for pro-growth policies in the first session of the 115th Congress. Gottheimer was joined by Fifth District business leaders and leaders of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Paramus Chamber of Commerce, the Maywood ...

Jersey Jubilation Handbell Concert May 18 in Ridgewood

The Jersey Jubilation handbell choir will celebrate the season with its 14th annual “Ring in the Spring” concert at 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, at the Ridgewood United Methodist Church, 100 Dayton St.

The program will include popular songs and classical favorites: three pieces from Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite”; a new arrangement of the jazz standard “Fly Me ...

Bergen County Care Fair Scheduled for May 6

Hackensack, NJ – A 45-member Steering Committee of Bergen County community leaders from the nonprofit and private sectors recently announced the launch of the Second Annual Bergen County Care Fair to take place on Sunday, May 6th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Fairleigh Dickinson University Rothman Center, 100 University Plaza Drive, Hackensack.  

Adler Aphasia ...