PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – Students nationwide plan to walk out of their classrooms on Wednesday – a month after the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
School districts are preparing for hundreds of thousands of students to take part in the #NeverAgain protest.
“We are gonna show we are not gonna stand for gun violence and become stronger,” said MSD student Giovanni Bernard.
School superintendents in South Florida are embracing the movement.
Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie is hoping the walkouts can be positive.
“We are proud of our students’ focus and determination to turn their grief and outrage into action, as they dedicate themselves to effecting positive change in this country,” wrote Runcie in a letter he sent students home with on Monday. “Staff will not interfere with peaceful student-led protests or gatherings at schools.”
Runcie went on to say he wants school staff to stay with the kids to keep them safe.
Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho also said they will allow peaceful protests in a letter sent to parents on Monday.
The Archdiocese of Miami says at catholic high schools, students will leave their classrooms and go to a school location on Wednesday.
The students will participate in 17 minutes of silence and conduct a prayer service.
Douglas student Ashanti Garland says she’s walking for her murdered friend, Martin Duque.
“I want people to know that we are MSD strong,” she said. “We should stand together and fight.”
Tuesday night, a group of kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are turning their daily tragedy into an art form, writing a poem about their experience during the massacre.
“For the 17 lives we lost and the millions we want to protect, we need to speak up. We are done with being quiet. We are finding our words….Making your chest feel like its concaving, telling you to evacuate with your hands on each others shoulder, staring at the building in terror.”
Part of the poem you just read is based off the student’s experiences on that fatal day in February where 17 people were gunned down at the Parkland high school.
“Georgie ran and climbed a fence and managed to get off campus but we were stuck,” explained Anna Bayuk. “She was in a closet, I was in a corner.”
Their performance comes less than 11 hours before a nationwide walkout.
Students plan to walk out of class at 10 a.m. across the country demanding Congress take action to stop gun violence.
“It’s not just a community thing, it’s not just a school thing, it’s a pride thing,” said student Sarah Giovanello.
On Monday, organizers held a video conference about the walkouts.
“I feel like all this legislation is being passed and, not one time, has someone stepped into Miami Edison and said what can we do for you guys? What can we do to help you guys succeed more,” one student on the call said.
The participants from Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Denver and other major cities are all hoping to push back against guns and efforts to put more guns in the classroom.
“It just sounds like making our schools into prisons, which they already are,” another student said.
Last week, Florida passed laws allowing schools districts to arm school staff.
While most school boards, including Miami-Dade and Broward, are not interested, the measure is now in a federal proposal put out by President Donald Trump on Monday.
The plan calls for “rigorous” firearm training for some teachers, Congress to provide legislation to make background checks more effective and more mental health resources.
The resident is pulling back on previous comments about raising the minimum age nationwide from 18 to 21 to buy an assault rifle.
The White House admitted Monday they don’t have support in Congress.
The president’s proposal will likely be in the crosshairs of national walkouts Wednesday.
Stoneman Douglas survivors continue to raise their voices.
Over the weekend, several survivors shared their firsthand accounts of what happened on social media.
The teenagers wrote the graphic details of what they witnessed.
Counselors are still available in all district school and school staff are being encouraged to help students share their feeling about the tragedy.
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