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Columbia Public Schools Prepares for Student Walkout

Students across the nation are planning a walkout set for Wednesday in wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, nearly a month ago. Local Columbia students are reportedly planning to participate as well.

The walkout is expected to take place at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark says that while CPS does not know specific details of the proposed walkout, administration has still made a safety plan. “While students remain on our campus, we will do everything we can to keep them safe and that’s what we’ll be focused on Wednesday,” Baumstark said.

Since the national movement is intended to be a peaceful act of solidarity, CPS is preparing for a similar situation.

“Our students are wanting a way to be able to express themselves. We have an obligation to maintain the educational environment and to maintain the safety of all our students when they’re on our campuses,” Baumstark said.

Baumstark said local law enforcement is aware of the proposed student walkout and working with CPS to ensure a safe demonstration. She said CPS and The Columbia Police Department have a strong partnership, and she expects that to continue on Wednesday. Seventeen people died at the Florida school shooting, and many students nationwide have become more vocal about stricter gun control laws.