Nebraska students to participate in walkout against guns
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some Nebraska students plan to participate in a national school walkout to protest gun violence despite the risk of being disciplined.
Wednesday’s #Enough National School Walkout marks the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting, the Omaha World-Herald reported . Students will walk out of class for 17 minutes, one for each of the Parkland victims. The walkout has been organized by a youth branch of the Women’s March.
Some districts are encouraging students to find a way to express their views that doesn’t interrupt the school day. Other districts say students who walk out will receive an unexcused absence.
Students, faculty and staff will line the halls of Mercy High School, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, for a moment of silence. The student body will recite the rosary and the names of the Parkland victims will be read. School officials said they wanted to avoid political divisiveness while promoting nonviolence. Students who walk out will be marked with an unexcused absence.
Bayle Lopez, a senior at Mercy High, says she’ll be participating in the walkout despite the unexcused absence.
“I just feel like we need to be doing something big to gain attention,” said Lopez, 17, of Omaha.
It’s important that school officials clearly convey what consequences students will face if they decide to walk out, said Danielle Conrad, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska.
“The students do have rights when it comes to their freedom of expression, but those rights can be fairly restricted during the school day and on school grounds by school officials if they’re going to disrupt school functions or educational activities,” she said.
While three of Nebraska’s largest school districts are on spring break this week, students from those districts are looking to get involved in other events in the coming weeks.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com