In a matter of hours, students and teachers across the country will be making a statement b walking out of their classrooms together.
It’s part of a national protest against gun violence, exactly one month after the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
About two dozen students will be taking part in the walkout at the Easthampton high school, these are expected to last exactly 17 minutes. A minute for each victim in Parkland.
This plan has been in the works for weeks here in Easthampton, so the administration as well as police are aware of the event.
Students are expected to march, make signs and observe moments of silence right outside the main entrance.
Many school districts will not punish any student who decides to walk out as long as they stay in the designated location, and return to class by 10:30 a.m.
The walkouts, which many schools are also participating in, start at 10 a.m.
Western Mass News spoke with an Easthampton High School freshman, who tells us that she shouldn’t have to fear for her own safety each time she walks through the doors.
"I don't want schools to be a place where students are killed,” Alice Wanamaker, explained. “I think the even bigger tragedy than the murders themselves is the fact that there are clear ways these can be prevented with gun regulations that don't take all guns away."
Easthampton High School is one of nearly a dozen schools in the Pioneer Valley taking part and according to students there will be speeches from them and teachers as well.
Some of those schools include Southwick Regional Schools, Granby Jr/Sr. High School, Ware High School, Longmeadow High School and the Four Rivers charter schools in Greenfield.
The pressure continues to mount for stricter gun control laws, while organizers behind the Women's March, an anti-Trump and female empowerment protest, called for a 17-minute, nationwide walkout by teachers and students on Wednesday, exactly one month after the Parkland, Florida shooting.
Schools across the country are taking part, though many students are expected to stay inside and continue on with their classes.
Some school administrators are speaking out in support, too. Dr. Stephen Zrike, the Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools releasing a statement which reads in part:
“We are committed to supporting student voice while maintaining a focus on student and staff safety. It is important that these events are led by students for students.”
Western Mass News will have more coverage of the ‘National Walkout Day’ throughout the day. Stay with us for the latest.
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