As “walkouts” are staged during school hours across the country, one Texas school district is threatening to suspend any students who choose to join in on the protests against gun violence.
Superintendent Curtis Rhodes of Needville Independent School District reportedly sent home a letter to students on Tuesday that said, “a disruption of the school will not be tolerated,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
“Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved,” Rhodes said. “All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.”
According to the superintendent, the school district “is very sensitive to violence in schools including the recent incident in Florida,” but it “will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness!!” Fox News reported.
“Respect yourself, your fellow students and the Needville Independent School District and please understand that we are here for an education and not a political protest,” he said, according to ABC News.
Maddy Lambright, a Needville High School junior, said she had planned to organize a 17-minute walk out in honor of the 17 victims from Florida’s shooting.
“We went to our principal to get permission,” she told ABC station KTRK, “He came on the intercom later in the day and he said, ‘If you walked out keep walking.'”
Lambright and her friends thought a walkout would be a good peaceful way to protest gun violence.
“These 17 people deserve this, they deserve a big walkout, a moment of silence for them,” she said. “You know they didn’t deserve to die.”
Walkouts have been planned across the country to show support for the Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School shooting victims and call for stricter gun laws, according to Fox News.
On Wednesday, the group Student Walkout Against Gun Violence scheduled a nationwide walkout at noon, according to their Twitter.
Walkouts were reported in many different states including Florida, Colorado, Minnesota and Illinois.
According to the Tweet, two more walkouts are scheduled for March 14 and April 20.
Student organizers in Florida are also planning a March for Our Lives event on March 24 that will be held throughout the country, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The student uprisings came in wake of the mass shooting on Feb. 14 where a former student killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida.
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