Marquette Area Public Schools respond to March 14 planned walk out

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In response to the Parkland, Florida tragedy, the Women’s March’s Youth EMPOWER group is planning a national school walkout on March 14.

At 10 a.m. in every time zone, students and school personnel are encouraged to walk out of school for 17 minutes, to represent each person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Marquette Area Public School Superintendent Bill Saunders says that he and his staff will support students in the walk out in a structured way. "We'll do what we can to structure those 17 minutes on the 14th at 10 a.m. to allow those students to have a voice to express themselves, to help them create an atmosphere that can do some good, whether that's writing letters to the legislature or helping them find their voice in what they're able to do in that," says Saunders.

In the wake of recent school shootings, Marquette area public schools have also taken extra precaution in terms of security.

"We've addressed those school security issues to a degree through our sinking fund. We've made some adjustments to our building through our offices where we direct all traffic through one area, we have some buzzer systems on doors, we're looking to increase the type of cameras and things in our buildings. I think we're one of the few districts that I'm aware of that we actually require our staff to wear panic pendants, so we have an instant 911 through a panic pendant that each of our staff members wear each and every school day to help with that. But these are just layers of security, it's hard to come up with anything that's 100 percent preventable," explains Saunders.

On March 24, student organizers across the nation are also planning a March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., as a call for school safety and gun control.

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