Some Guilford County students plan to participate in school walkout on March 14 over gun violence

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Students in Guilford County are joining a national movement. They plan to walk out from school on Wednesday, one month after the school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.

The movement that started online is called the #Enough National School Walkout. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, students from across the country will walk out of school for 17 minutes.

Students at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts are doing things a little differently. They plan to perform poetry, sing, and read the names of the victims.

Looking back on the shooting, these students are having the same thoughts as many others across the country.

“It’s very scary, because you never know if you could just be sitting in class and somebody just walks in with a gun,” said Thazarria Barrier, a seventh-grade student.

“We’ve a lot of conversations about, ‘What would it be like if it was us?’” said Kendall Dixon, an eleventh-grade student.

These Penn-Griffin students say they just want to feel safe in their own classrooms.

“As a student we should have the right to walk into school everyday and be completely comfortable with the desk we’re sitting in and not have to worry about someone worrying our education,” Dixon said.

“We wanted to create something that’s going to be safe, that’s going to be impact, that’s going to help our kids be politically active,” said Howard Stimpson, the principal at Penn-Griffin.

Stimpson says this isn’t a mandatory event. Teachers will remain inside the school if any students don’t want to participate.

The Guilford County school district says it’s putting together a list of all the schools participating, so they can let parents know early new week.

FOX8 called other school districts in the Triad to see how they’re handling in.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district and Alamance-Burlington School System say they expect some students to organize local walk outs, but the districts aren’t officially participating.

Schools in Asheboro, Thomasville, Rockingham County and Randolph County say there are no planned events for March 14.

Davidson County says every school will do something to honor Parkland on March 14, but walkouts won’t be part of that plan.

Lexington City Schools says its staff will support its students if they wish to participate, but they do not believe in making in mandatory.

“I’d like to see everybody come together to fight for what we really want in our community and try to make that happen,” Kendall said.

For some students, that may mean walking in support of stricter gun regulations. For others, it means promoted peace, security and a message to people who think they can tear communities apart with violence.