Idaho Falls

Local students plan walk-out to support national student protest


BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - In light of the deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting, students all over the country will be walking out of class on Wednesday to show support for the national movement the student survivors and their families led these past few weeks.

Students at Hillcrest High School in Ammon are also planning a walk-out for 17 minutes to represent each of the lives lost during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"It's happening everywhere and you see there's overarching support for people to do something," one student Ara Omotowa said. "It's not just a 'ban all guns' kind of rally. It's literally - can we have some peace? Can we please be safe in our schools?"

However, some teachers don't agree with the movement.

"As a math teacher, I do not know any if any of my students' brains are going to be able to learn anything in math for that hour," School District 91 math teacher Julie Duffield said. "They won't be able to focus for the rest of the day because that's all they'll be thinking about."

She added, it's not just about the added distraction for students which can be problematic.

"What's kind of frustrating for me, is that it's not really a student-led event," she said. "There are political groups who have a cause and they have been targeting students through social media and telling them they need to walk out at a certain time of day during the school day."

However, the students said it's a movement they feel is important for them to get behind.

"A lot of people get it confused that we want to ban all guns," Hillcrest High School student Lauren Mortensen said. "We want to be safe in school. We want to eliminate the possibility of there being another school shooting with military-grade weapons."

Ara added, "This is 17 minutes long...and there are 17 people who will never have a school day again. I just want to put things into perspective. This has been going on for way too long and this is 17 minutes just to understand you need to see things from the other point of view."

Some schools will hold assemblies before the walk-out for those who want to show support but who also choose to not leave class.

School Districts 91 and 93 said there will not be any punishment for students who choose to walk out.

However, in students in the Shelley school district will face some discipline.

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