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Walkouts were held across the school district to honor Florida shooting victims

TIDNGS PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - West Linn High School students at the demonstration opted to honor  their fallen peers in Florida  with 17 minutes of silence during their walkout, rather than speak out against gun violence as teens in some schools across the nation did. Several hundred students at West Linn High School participated in a national walkout at 10 a.m.Wednesday, March 14, standing in silence at the front of the building for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that took place exactly one month ago.

The walkout at WLHS was one of many that took place at primary, middle and high schools across the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Walkouts took place all around the Portland area and across the nation in an effort to honor the shooting victims and prompt further discussions about school safety and gun violence.

Quiet reflection defined the walkout at WLHS, which ended at about 10:25 a.m. when students returned to their classrooms, but several students delivered short speeches before and after the 17 minutes of silence.

"Being the strong community that we are, we have the ability to say 'enough is enough,'" said senior Shay Hicks, is president of the WLHS Associated Student Body. "We will stand for those who have fallen."

A number of students held black signs with the names of the victims of the Parkland shooting. Shortly after the walkout ended, WLHS Principal Kevin Mills issued a statement in an email to parents.

"The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has prompted a national discussion regarding school safety and the rights of staff and students to learn and work in a safe environment. One part of this discussion was a media-promoted national school walkout at 10 a.m. today," Mills said in the statement. "Administration had worked with student leaders ahead of time, establishing a safe place for students to go while avoiding distractions within classrooms for students who chose not to participate.TIDINGS PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - WLHS students held signs with the names of victims from the recent Florida school shooting.

"School and District administrators supervised students until their return to the classroom at 10:25 a.m. Teachers remained in their classrooms during that time, teaching students who did not want to participate, and the school day resumed like normal following the walkout."

Walkouts also took place at Wilsonville and Art & Technology high schools, Athey Creek Middle, Trillium Creek, Lowrie, Stafford and Willamette primaries.TIDINGS PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - The WLWV School District was unable to say how many students in the district participated in the walkout but the majority of schools reported some student activity during the event.



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