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Area students may participate in National Walkout Day

Students in area schools are having discussions with school administrators about taking part in the National Walkout Day on Wednesday.

The walkout, school officials say, will last for 17 minutes and will be held to remember the 17 people killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Feb. 14.

Shenandoah County schools Superintendent Mark Johnston confirmed that students in two of the county’s public schools may be taking part in the walkout.

“This is not a political protest but in honor of those students killed, it is a memorial,” Johnston said.

The students at one school are talking about walking around the inside of the school while students at the second county school would walk outside but still remain on school grounds.

Shenandoah administrators have asked that students remain orderly and stay on school grounds, Johnston said, adding that some teachers may be participating in the walkout as well.

Johnston refused to disclose what schools may be participating.

Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy and communications for Frederick County Public Schools, confirmed some students in their schools may be walking out as well to remember those killed.

“We anticipate that but ultimately we will find out on Wednesday,” Edwards said. He did not specify what schools might be participating.

He added that the walkout would not be political.

“Generally, they want to show support to those killed,” he said.

Frederick County students and administrators have been working together to make sure the walkout is civil without disrupting school activity and is done so that students can be kept safe, he said.

“Students don’t leave their First Amendment rights at the door,” Edwards said, adding this could be used as a lesson.

Warren County Schools did not responded to requests for an interview.

Another nationwide protest is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, Colorado school shooting that left 13 dead.

Reporter Max Lee contributed to this story.

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