Wednesday: Student walkouts may affect local traffic

Atherton police say protests may mean closed roads, detours and delays

The Atherton and Menlo Park police departments are warning that traffic could be affected on Wednesday, March 14, when students from several local schools take part in walkouts to protest gun violence.

A statement from the Atherton Police Department says that between 1,500 and 2,000 students from Menlo-Atherton High School, Menlo School, and Sacred Heart Prep plan to leave their campuses at 10 a.m. and march from Atherton to El Camino Park in Palo Alto. The students will use Valparaiso Avenue, University Drive, Oak Grove Avenue and El Camino Real, according to the statement.

"Traffic will be heavily impacted on several streets between Atherton and Palo Alto. Take alternative routes to avoid congestion," police said.

Roads may be closed and traffic delayed or detoured, police said.

"The Atherton Police Department, the Menlo Park Police Department, and the Palo Alto Police Department thank you for your attention and understanding as we work to ensure the safety of the students and the public during this protest march," the statement says.

According to Menlo Park interim Police Chief Dave Bertini, organizers of the planned student protest have been in contact with police, and the Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto police departments are working together on a plan to keep students safe during the march.

Inclement weather is expected, he added, so he's planning for the police department to be "on our toes to make sure everyone's safe."

Kate Bradshaw contributed to this report.


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Barbara Wood


6 people like this
Posted by Kaboom!
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Another contrived reason to skip class. How fun! The tyranny of spoiled brats in action! When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!

45 people like this
Posted by Thrilled
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Love that these students feel like they have a voice and are taking a stand to be heard. Proud that the schools are supportive. And thrilled that these students will be voting soon!

14 people like this
Posted by Steve_J
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Steve_J is a registered user.

Not a matter of skipping school. These are the next generation voters. Bet they will not be like Kaboom!! and are not NRA terrorists.

9 people like this
Posted by MP Community Member
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

I remember back in the 60's doing this, at least for me and a large number of my fellow HS students - it was a easy way to get out of class. At this age you really don't know the ramifications (the big picture) of your actions - you are still living at home depending on your mom and dad and really don't have a lot of responsibility. Yes, walking the street and protesting gun violence is an exercise of free speech - very simplistic, but offer no real solutions. Are the students protesting for better mental health assistance? More police? Better protections at school? or is this just the same old "ban guns" shouting (hey, I know, I did something similar). Hope they at least learn from school what the real issues are and how to face them.

23 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 13, 2018 at 6:28 pm

@MP Community Member - like it or not, the President is responding to the latest school shootings, no doubt at least partly in response to student protests. The President has proposed beefing up background checks, raising the age to some types of weapons, and banning some weapons outright. I have no doubt that large scale student protests can have an effect on this issue and continued protests will keep the pressure on lawmakers to actually do something this time.

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