A group of Emporia High School student leaders, with the support of high school administration, are planning to take part in the national school walkout event to protest school violence.
The nationwide protest comes one month after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. in which 17 people were killed with an AR-15 style rifle. Emporia High student Kelin Rodriguez says students are advocating for lawmakers to take action.
Rodriguez says an estimated 200 to 300 students are expected to take part in the walkout which is planned at 10 a.m. Students will walk out to the football field to protest.
Students at several other high schools across the U.S. are planning similar walkouts for 17 minutes, representing the 17 people gunned down in last month's incident in Florida. Rodriguez says students have the support of the school administrators.
Emporia Public Schools has released a statement saying they understand students want to exercise their First Amendment rights to express their views on an important topic, noting it can be a "powerful learning experience." The district says safety is their priority and they also want to ensure all students, regardless if they protest or not feel safe and respected. As long as students return to class immediately, tardies will not be enforced. If students choose not to return to class in a timely fashion, the normal tardy and absent policy will be observed.
Stay tuned to KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media for photos and video of the walkout and plus reaction from students and school officials on KVOE News.