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

SUBMITTED PHOTO: SIERRA BISHOP - Senior Imani Wolery holds up signs during the national walkout WHS participated in.An estimated 250 students at Wilsonville High School participated in a national walkout at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, standing in silence on the football field for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that took place just over one month ago.

The walkout at WHS was one of 15 that took place at primary, middle and high schools across the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. SUBMITTED PHOTO: SIERRA BISHOP - Students wear orange t-shirts in solidarity with the victims of school violence.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 WHS, which ended at about 10:17 a.m. when students returned to their classrooms.

"It went really well," said junior Liberty Paden. "The students were absolutely amazing. We had a few moments of silence for the victims of the MS High School shooting in the beginning, which was great."

A number of students wore orange in solidarity with victims of school violence and held signs that read words like "Protect students" or "Enough."

Shortly after the walkout ended, WHS Principal Dan Schumaker 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," Schumaker said in the statement. "Administration heard from 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. "School and district administrators supervised students until their return to the classroom at 10:17 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 many WL-WV schools, including West Linn and Arts and Technology high schools, Athey Creek Middle School, Trillium Creek, Lowrie, Stafford and Willamette primaries.

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