Parkland Survivor Visits Thornwood High To Discuss Violence, Gun Control

Justin Lane  EPA via Shutterstock

In this March 14, 2018, file photograph, 15-year-old Leah Zundel waves a placard during a student walkout to protest gun violence on the soccer field behind Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

The gravity of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, didn't hit Delaney Wilkinson until she had to write the names of the 17 students and adults who were killed in the attack.

Given these circumstances, I want to stress that Friday, April 20 remains a regular school day as scheduled on the school calendar.

April 20 is the event organized by students across the country as part of the National School Walkout. Community and police-driven gun violence hit hard for teens in urban areas, many of whom have lost family members, friends, or classmates to shootings.

Nationwide, more than 2,100 walkouts are planned for Friday, according to the event organizers.

Ten days later, on March 24, student activists in some 800 cities across the USA and around the world led massive marches that drew thousands in support of the gun control cause.

Pomp said the more than 100 students expected to walkout on Friday are prepared to accept the consequences.

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The walkout, which was conducted with the school administration's approval, came almost two months to the day that a troubled 19-year-old man armed with an AR-15 rifle opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people, mostly teenagers, and wounding another 17.

Nadine Drew, a spokeswoman for the Broward County school district, said on Wednesday that she did not have information about the activities planned at other Broward County schools, but that she believes some schools plan to create service projects and dedicate them to the victims of the Columbine shooting.

Although the school district is not sanctioning or authorizing student walkouts, we've provided guidance to our principals should their students wish to take part in such demonstrations. We want them to be able to have their voices heard but have to balance that with their safety and security.

On campuses where no walkout occurs - and for students who choose not to join the activities at participating schools - classes will continue as usual.

"We fully support student voice, however it must be done in a way that is safe and doesn't negatively impact education", the principals said in their call.

"The administration has been working with students as they organize this, so that their right to express themselves is respected", Schuster said, noting that most secondary schools in the district have a track-and-field area students will be encouraged to use.

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