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Local students plan school walkouts to honor Parkland shooting victims

Local students plan school walkouts to honor Parkland shooting victims

(WPBN/WGTU) -- Several students in northern Michigan have joined in and organized efforts for walkouts at their schools.

“Students and teenagers in general have been taking the lead on this, we really want to put our voices out there,” said Max Hamilton.

Hamilton is a senior at the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor, and while the high school only has about 40 students, he says it's just as important to join in the national school walk out.

“What we can do is teach students, the next generation of voters, civil responsibility,” said Hamilton. “That's what we're trying to do.”

Students like senior Lena Gerstle who organized a walkout at Traverse City Central agree, saying she's horrified every time she hears about another shooting.

“Our school could be next because we are just as likely as any school to have a shooting,” said Lena Gerstle, TC Central senior. “So it's because I’m concerned about mine and the other students’ safety here.”

They organized walkouts at their schools not only to honor the 17 students killed in the Florida school shooting but also to teach students the importance of getting involved.

“High schoolers especially sometimes feel like they don't have a voice,” said Leelanau School senior Egan Fritts. “Being able to promote this kind of activity and trying to actually get it out there that students have a voice and have the ability to make a change even though they don't get to vote for another couple of years. They can still try to make change.”

They say change is possible, and it starts with movements like these.

“I think our generation has been criticized for not being involved and we finally are so I think people will really start paying attention,” said Gerstle.

The nationwide walk outs are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

They'll last for exactly 17 minutes, one minute to honor each victim of the Florida school shooting.

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