May 26, 2018

Local students to join National School Walkout, set for Friday

20 April 2018, 12:57 | Yvette Williams

Courtesy MGN MSNBC

Courtesy MGN MSNBC

The group's founder, 16-year-old sophomore Lane Murdock, who attends Ridgefield High School in CT, says her organization has been in touch with friends and family of the Columbine community, saying "we've been having a dialogue with them".

Talia Pomp, a senior at East Chapel Hill High School and one of the organizers, said the intent of the walkout is to disrupt and to engage in civil disobedience.

Students at Penn Hills High School also will have the option to participate in student-run activities taking place Friday at the Penn Hills YMCA.

Students are walking out of schools to protest inaction from lawmakers against gun violence.

As long as they have a note, the absence will be excused.

Although today's high school students weren't alive when it happened, the more recent mass shooting in Parkland Florida brought the issue to light, spurring student demonstrations on school safety.

Friday will mark the 19th anniversary since the deadly shooting at Columbine High School.

The movement, Lane said, is about "empowering students" to fight against federal and state government inaction on gun violence. The fact is, school shootings have been commonplace my entire life.

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I appreciate the mature and responsible behavior of all our students these past few hard months, and trust their good judgment and the support of their families will ensure a successful end to the school year.

The fears differ by gender as well: 64 percent of girls say they are very or somewhat anxious about a shooting happening at their school, compared with 51 percent of boys.

Current Columbine students, who weren't born at the time of the massacre, were among those participating in the nationwide walkout on March 14.

Rachel Hill, a Columbine sophomore, said the principals' letter was written with input from community members. Therefore, while we remain neutral in our stance, we have offered to provide a venue on the campus that will allow us to provide security and supervision to those students who choose to participate in the event.

The school district said state law requires students to attend school and for the school district to notify parents if students do not attend school.

"We're not sponsoring it; we're supporting it, and there's a fine line there", Miller said.

And on Friday - the 19th anniversary of the Columbine assault, which shattered the concept of schools as safe havens - Kirk and other students plan to walk out of Washington, D.C. -area schools and stage a vigil outside the White House to honor the Columbine victims and others killed by gun violence. "We want to break that and come together as a school, like how (Columbine High School) came together after the tragedy". "We have the tools to talk about it and they can't stop us".

Expectations for behavior and respect will remain consistent with those encouraged during any regular school day and students who do not meet those expectations will be subject to disciplinary action by BMS administrators as well.

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