Students planning to rally against gun violence

Courtesy  VOLA

San Luis Coast Unified School District intends to let the students lead the protest, Assistant Superintendent Kimberly McGrath said.

Williams Bay High School administrators notified parents in writing that a walkout was being discussed in Williams Bay, and that officials were working with students to plan the demonstration.

Cape Henlopen High School students who choose to participate in the "walkout" will permitted to exit their classrooms for a period of time that day, while students who don't will have to remain in class.

For this reason I condemn any school official who allows these protests to take place without effect to its students.

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Organizers are encouraging students to leave their class at that time for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 people killed in the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Students also are organizing a local march to coincide with a national March 24 event the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students set.

Late last month, BHS English teacher Gina Marie Bernard planned a schoolwide walkout in the wake of the Parkland shooting, but her plans quickly drew statewide attention and, ultimately, she canceled the event after learning district leaders didn't support it.

Colette Raptosh, a 17-year-old Capital High senior, is a veteran organizer for People for Unity and helped plan the Women's March in Boise. The day's major "Enough is Enough" event starts at 10 a.m. at the Idaho Capitol.

The walkout is part of a movement taking place across the country calling for safer schools.

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"I don't think this is something I can ignore", he said. Nampa and West Ada districts have made a similar request. And we can't say we want you to walk out or leave class and we hope they would find a different time to talk about it, but we certainly understand it's important to them and we won't stand in the way to have that conversation with their peers.

The Boise Education Association has told its teachers not to participate in the walkout, nor to encourage it.

"The division is now working with our administrators to develop plans that meet both the division's responsibility to provide a safe, secure learning environment for all students while recognizing the rights of students and staff as outlined in the division's Student Conduct Code and the School Board Policy Manual", said spokeswoman Katherine Goff.

Raptosh is also offering students alternatives to attending the Capitol rally, including wearing orange or leaving class for only 17 minutes.

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