Students at Local High Schools Prepare for National Walkout - NBC 7 San Diego

Students at Local High Schools Prepare for National Walkout

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    Students at Local High Schools Prepare for National Walkout

    Students at high school across the county are participating in Wednesday's national school walkout in their own individual ways. NBC 7's Omari Fleming checked out plans at a few local campuses. (Published Tuesday, March 13, 2018)

    In the center of Patrick Henry High School, there are 17 chairs with a rose in each.

    A reminder of the teachers and students who lost their lives on February 14 in the Florida school massacre.

    “They were seniors going to college. That’s me. They had a future," said Ashlee Watson as she looked at the chairs.

    The 17-year-old Patrick Henry student helped create the display, as well as a timeline of school shootings now hanging on the quad wall that students pass by daily.

    She's also one of many student organizers across San Diego who’ve coordinated the "Enough! National School Walkout." An event for students to take a stand against gun violence.

    “Everyone has a right to have a gun, but once the community becomes affected and people are dying, I think we need to stop being selfish and realize something needs to be done. The community is more important,” said Watson

    In Torrey Highlands, a group of Westview High School students spent the evening making posters about school safety, part of the finishing touches of their planned seventeen-minute walkout. One minute for each of the people killed.

    The Westview High juniors say the event isn't about stripping people of their guns, though the threat of gun violence for the Poway Unified School District students is all too real.

    In late February, a student was arrested for making a gun threat.

    “We are recognizing this is an issue and we are going to work to change it in whatever way we can for our school. We hope it inspires other schools to take action as well," said Shira Griffith.

    “I have a younger sister in 6th grade,” echoed Mary Lynn Tracy. I’m concerned for her safety and concerned for every child’s safety and future in this nation.”

    School districts across the county are handling the walkouts differently.

    While participation is strictly voluntary, San Diego Unified School District says it "supports students' rights to peaceful assembly and free expression."

    Grossmont Union High School District noted their schools are working with student leaders to develop learning-based alternatives to the walkouts.

    In addition to remembering the victims of the Florida school massacre with moments of silence and speeches, information on voter registration, mental health services and elected officials will be made available on some campuses.

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