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Minnesota Students To Join National Gun Violence Walkout

March 14, 2018 - 7:48 am

Students at dozens of Minnesota schools plan to walk out of classes in response to last month's deadly school shooting in Florida.

The walkout planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday comes one month after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The national demonstration is expected to last 17 minutes - one minute for each of the 17 students and staff members killed in Florida.

The organizer of St. Louis Park's walkout, senior Elliot Schochet told WCCO Radio that students feel supported by school leaders. Schochet says "They understand that this isn't something that we can stop, or will stop.  We understand the issue.  Instead of getting in the way and stopping you, we're going to try and make this as safe as possible and make sure students can participate in a safe manner."  Schochet is also friends with two Parkland, FL students and says he will never forget that day. "I was in a group chat with them and they were in a closet with a SWAT Team member guarding the door.  I felt a call to action and felt like I had to do something."

Most of the Minnesota walkouts are set for the Twin Cities. But schools in all parts of the state, from Bemidji to Winona, are expected to participate. Walkouts also are planned at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall and University of Minnesota Duluth.

Superintendent Ed Graff says Minneapolis Public Schools will not discipline students as long as the protest remains peaceful.

(The Associated Press Contributed to this Story)