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Students and teachers in Southwest Florida plan to participate in National School Walkout

Posted at 6:47 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 06:57:18-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Many students and teachers in Southwest Florida and across the country plan to participate in the National School Walkout Wednesday. The walkout will serve as a memorial for the Parkland shooting victims and a protest for stricter gun laws.

Students and teachers will start the walkout at 10 a.m. local time and will last 17 minutes.

"It's a good protest, nonviolent," Martha Dudley said. "I hope a lot of people do it."

Dudley's family supports the National School Walkout. Her children and grandchildren will head to Washington D.C. for Wednesday's march there.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting resonated with Dudley's family.  "It hits very close to home," Dudley said. "My granddaughter starts high school next year and I want high school to be a happy experience for her," she added.

Some parents are concerned about safety.  "It's a free country, kids are going to do what they want to do," Robert Peniska said. "As a parent, I feel like they need to stay in school."

4 In Your Corner reached out to several school district leaders about the National School Walkout.

The Lee County School District isn't supporting any disruption to classes. Students will be responsible if they leave the classroom.

Charlotte County schools took a different approach. Elementary and middle schools in Charlotte will observe a moment of silence. The Charlotte County School District will have an optional reflection period Wednesday for high school students.

Classes in Collier County will not be disrupted because of spring break.