Fontana schools prepare for nationwide student walkouts

FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, ignited and united students all across the country, and on Wednesday students from coast to coast will leave their classrooms for a nationwide walkout.

Fontana city leaders and its five school districts encouraged the students on Tuesday to do so safely.

"We share your concerns and understand that students need to be heard. We support services and student voice and the right to protest peacefully. However, we are concerned for the safety of students if they leave campus," Mayor Acquanetta Warren said.

Instead, they want students to participate in on-campus activities that are student and staff led.

"These activities include moments of silence, classroom discussions, pledges against school violence and the opportunity to share their concerns with our lawmakers," Superintendent Randal Bassett said.

Students at Summit High School will join thousands of students by leaving their classroom and heading to the football field. There they will push lawmakers to act on gun reform, while also honoring the victims of Parkland.

"Students will receive an orange ribbon upon entering campus and will have a moment of silence to honor the victims of Parkland, Florida. We will also have a video message made by our very own writing club with poems that honor the victims," student Maria Medina said.

Students will walk out of class for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across all time zones. Each minute will represent one victim of the Parkland shooting. While school administrators recognize a student's right to protest, they are not allowing them to leave campus without consequences.

"If a student decided to walk away from school, they will be disciplined with an unexcused absence," Chief Martin Sissac said.

But just in case students decide to take their protest off campus, Fontana police will be staffing extra officers around the schools.
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