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Schools in the Tennessee Valley prepare for national student walkout day Wednesday

Student Walkout - WTVC.PNG

Students across the country, and some in our viewing area, plan to walk out of school on Wednesday.

It's a part of the National School Walkout Movement to support the Florida school shooting victims, and tighter gun control laws.

Almost one month ago, a former student opened fire, killing 17 people, at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Since that day, school safety has been top of mind for parents and students everywhere.

"There is change to be made, and something definitely needs to happen before it happens in our backyard," said Caleb Atkins, Heritage High senior.

Tuesday, Atkins plans to join his peers for the walkout.

"There’s not a specific reason. I’d say it’s just to make a change in general," he said.

Signs posted in the high school show the walkout is focused on school violence, but according to the walkout event page, it says the walkout is intended to focus on gun violence.

"Whatever side you’re on on gun control, the students left that part alone because they’re not trying to be divisive. They’re trying to bring people together," said Ronnie Bradford, principal.

Just a few miles north, students in Hamilton County also plan on being a part of this national movement.

District spokesman Tim Hensley says HCDE supports that under certain conditions.

"As long as you’re orderly and it’s done in a safe matter. Schools are working with student leaders to set up areas for them to meet," Hensley said.

However, not all school districts in our area agree with this movement. In Whitfield County, the superintendent sent out a letter to parents and students.

She writes, in part, "any students who choose to walk out of class will be in violation of the school code of conduct concerning an unauthorized absence from class."

Heritage students, like Atkins, are thankful their administrators see it differently.

"I think it’s really cool that we get to voice our opinions and show our support for the school in Florida," Atkins said.

Students will begin their walkout at 10 a.m. at Heritage High.

No announcement will be made, but any student who wishes to get up and participate can do so.

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