Students at Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant are planning a walkout in favor of stricter gun control laws on March 14 following a shooting at a high school in South Florida that left 17 dead last week.
The walkout will coincide with the National School Walkout, an event sponsored by the national Women’s March organization in which students are encouraged to walk out of their buildings for 17 minutes, one minute for every person killed at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Wed. Feb. 14.
Jonathan Hudson, an 18-year-old senior at Wando High, says he is working on organizing the protest with fellow senior Lauren Insinger, 18, and one teacher.
“Our aim is to stand in solidarity with our fellow students in Parkland, Fla. and ask those who represent us both on a state and national level to step across the aisle to discuss school safety and gun safety,” Hudson wrote in an e-mail to CP. “We want a safe learning environment not only for us but for future American students.”
Nikolas Cruz, 19, admitted to authorities that he began shooting students inside of the Parkland, Fla. high school “in the hallways,” according to The New York Times based on a police report released on Thurs. Feb. 15.
Hudson says that he expects a “sizable response” after a parent told a Wando school resource officer that he saw another student’s older brother brandishing guns on campus in a Snapchat video on Dec. 7. The school was put under a code red lockdown before police officers determined that a gun could not be seen in the video.
“I have heard of a few teachers who have expressed interest in hosting an awareness event at Wando,” Hudson added. “Our school and its administration tend to be very supportive of student led endeavors.”
Charleston County School District spokesman Andrew Pruitt says that the district is still considering an appropriate response to any planned student walkouts.
“There is a lot to consider, especially when it comes to the safety of those who might participate in these events on school grounds, and maintaining a normal instructional day for those who might not participate,” Pruitt said in an e-mail.
The South Carolina chapter of the Women’s March is hosting an information session at Local Works on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. to help high school and college faculty, staff and students plan walkouts on March 14.
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