Blaine County students will join national walkout

Blaine County students will join national walkout

Students and families in Parkland, Fla., have mobilized into a group called March for Our Lives and plan to converge on Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 24 to protest gun violence.

Superintendent Steve Hopkins said last week that he hadn't heard of any planned walkouts but that his initial reaction wasn't to punish students. "Especially now, after the Florida shooting, I feel if you bring a weapon to school you shouldn't be allowed back into that school", she said.

"But I don't think guns should be banned or anything", he said.

The NCHS walkout was originally planned to take place on the high school's front lawn, but an organizer said it was likely to be moved to the football field. "I have learned that if you want something to get done, you have to do it yourself". When we teach such "21st century skills" and traditional academic knowledge, what are we helping students use it for?

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For example, during school hours, students can not be punished for speaking out unless their speech disrupts the functioning of the school. It's not about being pro-gun, or anti-gun-there's policy driving this.

The board's finance committee is scheduled to hold two meetings on the proposed budget that will be open to the public on Monday, March 19 and Monday, April 16.

Allowing teachers to be armed on a volunteer basis has been the primary sticking point of a bill that passed the Florida Senate on Monday and is being considered by the Florida House on Tuesday. Participants, who are encouraged to wear orange, will then, per the proposal, meet administrators and security at the flagpole on Stewart Field. The proposal suggests discouraging students from carrying "anti-NRA" and/or "anti-Trump" signs. The goal is to protest gun violence on campuses and to stand in solidarity with survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A threat of violence was also reported at EHS that day, but police determined there was no threat.

The idea came from Next Generation Politics, a club at the high school.

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Another took a different stance: "Assault rifle" is a misleading term because "assault" is an action - not a kind of gun.

Gun control has been a hot topic in the news as of late, sparked in part by the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.

Students at Central and Centennial high schools are planning a protest for next week. The girls have taken the Women's March logo down from the Facebook event page promoting the Walkout. It was deleted shortly thereafter. Along with the typical emergency drills the school staff and students participate in, she said school staff will participate in active shooter drills at night with local police officers to prepare them for the worst-case scenario.

"First and foremost, I want to emphasize this is voluntary for students and staff, and we are requesting parents/guardians to please complete the enclosed permission slip as an "opt-in" to grant your student permission to participate in these activities, " Neal wrote.

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