Austin-area superintendents prepare for National School Walkout Day

Courtesy MGN MSNBC

Courtesy MGN MSNBC

April 20 is the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School, which killed 13 people.

In March, students organized an event to honor the lives of the 17 people killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting on Valentine's Day.

Students at several high schools across Iowa plan to join Friday's national walkout to protest gun violence and seek safer schools.

High school students from Foothill, East, Highland, Centennial and South are leading the walkout effort locally.

The organizers' stated goal is to hold elected officials accountable, promote solutions to gun violence, and demystify and engage students in the political system. Organizers will offer a variety of activities, including speeches from students and community groups. In addition to the walkout, students are planning to protest Friday evening at the Ohio Statehouse.

Here in mid-Michigan and across the nation high school students will step out of class again Friday.

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Students staged demonstrations in the immediate aftermath of the Parkland massacre, before organizing a nationwide, coordinated walkout one month after the shooting. And at Upper Arlington High School, participants in the walkout will receive a lunch detention for every class they miss. Schools and students will recognize the difference of opinions in their student bodies during events and activities closed to the public.

As part of the National School Walkout movement, six State High students plan to lead a rally in hopes of bringing attention to gun reform, even if it means facing disciplinary action for skipping class.

"He worked with us and said we could maybe do something during lunch, but we made a decision to organize it after school so that we can gather an audience of people who genuinely want to be there", Basilone said in a text message. "I understand a lot of African Americans don't have that connection with the #NeverAgain movement, because they don't see people that look like them, and there's 40 percent of minorities that go to Stoneman Douglas, but you don't really see that at the forefront of this movement", she said.

Our schools are encouraging students to remain focused on learning while knowing that the School Board has been and continues to keep student safety as a top priority.

Pomp said Chapel Hill police officers have agreed to escort students to the rally on Franklin Street where speakers will demand that Congress and state lawmakers support universal background checks, raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 and bans on bump stocks and assault rifles among other stricter gun-control measures.

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