Local students plan to take part in walkout

Students said they're pushing for safer schools everywhere: "I like how we're all coming together as one."

Posted: Mar. 13, 2018 7:30 PM
Updated: Mar. 13, 2018 7:34 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Thousands of students across the country are planning to take part in a walkout on Wednesday, as part of a national demonstration to end gun violence.

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That walkout comes exactly one month after the shooting at a Florida High School.

School officials in western Oregon said they respect their student's rights to free speech, but at the same time they said the safest place for students is in the classroom.

Students said they're pushing for safer schools everywhere: "I like how we're all coming together as one," said Collier Campbell, a student at Sheldon High School.

"I think gun violence right now is a big issue in America and I think the government kind of needs to do something about it...I think the walkout is a good protest," said Collier.

The walkout is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Students said this demonstration is not only to push for safer schools, but it's a tribute to those lives lost in Florida last month. The walkout will last 17 minutes, one for each victim.

"I think it's important to remember the people that were killed in Florida," said Riley O'Conell.

Local school districts have prepared for the walkout and have sent letters home to parents. None of them condone students leaving class, but some are making accommodations so that it's safe.

"Because it was student-driven...we wanted to make sure they were going to be supervised, and conduct themselves in an organized and safe manner," said José da Silva, Principal of Springfield High School.

He said they'll have staff on hand to supervise students during the walkout. He said students won't be marked tardy, as long as they return to class within 10 minutes after the walkout.

That's not the case elsewhere. Students who walk out in the Roseburg, Bethel or 4J Districts could get an unexcused absence or may be marked tardy if they choose to participate.

"We respect our students' right to express their personal views, but during the school day, students should be in school," said Kerry Delf, 4J Spokesperson.

In letters to parents, both the Roseburg and Bethel districts said they will have staff supervise students if a walkout occurs.

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