Northstate students plan walkout to remember Parkland shooting victims

Foothill High School students plan walkout to remember the 17 people killed in the Parkland mass shooting.

Students all across the country will walk out of class Wednesday on the one month anniversary of the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Niah Palmer from Foothill High School in Palo Cedro is among them taking 17 minutes to remember the 17 lives lost.

Palmer said she's always been passionate about political standings and knew this is where she wanted to make a difference. "Sometimes it gets a little political and we forget about the victims and their families," said Palmer.

She one of several student ambassadors for the March For Our Lives movement in Shasta County, a national campaign started by students.

"I think that it is really really special and important that us as students are uniting as one big group," said Palmer.

Palmer first joined the group after another student posted on social media about starting a local committee. She then organized the walkout for Foothill and went to Principal Steve Abbott for help.

"There's both sides to that. On the one hand I'm here to protect classroom time and instructional time and you never want to see that disrupted. On the other hand when kids come to me in advance and talk about it then obviously I want to support them and realize how passionate they are about this cause," said Abbott.

Starting at 10 a.m. students will walk out of class and meet at the Student Union where pictures of all 17 victims will be placed on a table along with a short biography of their lives.

"Just really personally take that into their own head and think about what this is for," said Palmer.

For students at Foothill the walkout will have minimal effect. The first five minutes will be class time the the last 12 minutes will be during a brunch break.

Abbott said while he cannot officially support the walkout, he did see an opportunity to teach students a valuable lesson. "The learning extends not only from the act of exercising their free speech but also from following this movement nationwide," added Abbott.

Palmer and her team of student ambassadors are also talking part in the national March For Our Lives next week, walking from the Sundial Bridge to the Sears parking lot and calling for an end to mass school shootings.

"School shootings have kind of become a normal thing, like people aren't really surprised when they happen anymore. So I think bringing awareness especially to school campus' is really important," said Palmer.

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