Local students plan walk outs in honor of victims in Florida shooting

Walkouts are planned at local schools Wednesday to pay tribute to the victims of the Florida school shooting.

Posted: Mar. 13, 2018 10:55 PM
Updated: Mar. 15, 2018 11:56 PM

UTICA -- Walkouts are planned at local schools Wednesday to pay tribute to the victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

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New Hartford schools are planning educational activities for students. In Utica, one student took it upon herself to plan a walk out at Donovan Middle School.

The walk out is a part of a nation-wide school walk out taking place Wednesday.

The protest will last 17 minutes; one minute for each person who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting.

The organizer of the walkout, Olivia Devins, and her mom, Kim Devins, said they are protesting what they say is a lack of response to gun violence in schools.

"The point of this is to get people's attention," Kim Devins said. "So even though we were shut down I was still going to allow her to do it anyway, because I feel that she really felt strongly about this and she should be supported in that."

Olivia Devins said her purpose for organizing the walk out was to start a movement that will ultimately lead to change in gun policies. 

"We definitely need people to take action before our future generations come on," Olivia Devins said. "We're basically so far letting them down because nobody's taking action about this, and there needs to me more action. I'm hoping that with all the schools around the country, they'll feel like people care and maybe we should start too."

The principal of Donovan Middle School was notified about the walk out, but told students disciplinary action would be taken against them if they followed through with it.

Students talked to teachers to lobby for the walk out. Teachers then discussed it with the principle and were able to get her to agree with the walk out.

During the walkout students will be split between the auditorium and the gym.

Olivia Devins will give a speech and the principal will go over gun safety drills.

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