m3n4.net September 21, 2018

Students organizing nationwide walkout over gun violence

11 March 2018, 01:11 | Tara Lloyd

One student is dead and the rest were released from school. A letter was sent home to parents

One student is dead and the rest were released from school

The National School Walkout has been organized by the Women's March Youth EMPOWER group and will take place on March 14 at 10 a.m. and is scheduled to last 17 minutes.

At Patriot High School in Prince William County, students Megan Black and Olivia Mumma said they have worked with administrators to stage a walkout at the high school's stadium.

Teacher Cristina Rivera said the staff and school are supporting the student decision, and believe it to be a good learning experience.

A letter was sent home to parents
One student is dead and the rest were released from school. A letter was sent home to parents

"We will work with the students as we have in the past", Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams said, referencing a walkout by some students last fall to protest President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides work permits and relief from deportation to certain undocumented children of immigrants.

Students are encouraged to return to class after the walkout concludes rather than leaving campus.

"We don't take a position, we don't take an advocacy role, but we do want to take steps to be sure it's safe and as intended", Liebow said. The event is supposed to last 17 minutes in honor of the 17 victims killed February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

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"What makes this issue unique is that it affects us directly", said Matt Post, 18, a senior at Sherwood High School in Montgomery County and the student member of the school board. "The issue of gun violence has continually been pushed to the side by politicians across the country, so our walkout is an opportunity to show them that students are exhausted of this inaction and lack of a real discussion".

Elsewhere across the nation, school districts have taken a different approach.

Jaffrey-Rindge Superintendent Reuben D. Duncan said the administrative team at Conant High School and Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School have discussed the potential for a local protest.

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"All students will be given the option to participate, but no one is required to participate", McNeal said in the email.

"It's going to be structured", Beaudoin said, "but we're really trying to put the onus on students who are rising up to be leaders in coordinating an event like this".

Cara Buchanan, a 15-year-old Gloucester ninth-grader who attends the private, 87-student Academy at Penguin Hall in Wenham, said students at her school are also planning to participate, and school officials have given them a green light - again with an educational twist. Some students, Garcia said, don't feel the walkout is the best way to honor students.

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"I will be the first one to want to read every one of them", Teixeira said. "This is a chance for them to tell us and tell everyone what they think, and we all need to listen to them when they express their views".

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