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Metro Atlanta Schools State Their Policies On Walkouts

Participants take part in a gun control reform rally in Tallahassee, Florida, last month – a week after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On Wednesday, students in Georgia and across the country are planning to walk out of their schools to mourn school shooting victims and call for stronger gun control policies.
Participants take part in a gun control reform rally in Tallahassee, Florida, last month – a week after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On Wednesday, students in Georgia and across the country are planning to walk out of their schools to mourn school shooting victims and call for stronger gun control policies.
Credit Gerald Herbert / Associated Press file
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Students across the country are planning to walk out of their schools Wednesday. The plan is to mourn school shooting victims and demand stronger gun control policies.

In Georgia, some student demonstrators have the support of their school districts. Others are weighing the potential penalties of participation.

DeKalb County and Atlanta Public Schools officials were among the first to embrace the walkouts.

Fulton County’s schools system initially told students to find another time and place to demonstrate but has since said it will allow “structured” activity.

Gwinnett County Schools does not condone a walkout. In a statement, Gwinnett says it wants to stay consistent and uninvolved no matter the political cause.

Stephanie Wright is a mom with two Gwinnett County high schoolers. She says both felt the emotional impact of the Parkland, Florida, shooting and wanted to walk out.

“I’m very proud of my kids taking in this information and wanting to have a voice and a real part — honestly, a part of democracy. They really want to participate,” she said.

But a Gwinnett schools statement went out saying students who miss class will face consequences.

“I think they were a little more reluctant to participate because they were worried about any kind of negative impact it would have on them in terms of discipline,” Wright said.

Cobb County schools cite safety concerns in its statement dissuading participation, saying disruptive students “MAY” be subject to consequences.

Multiple WABE requests to clarify Cobb’s policy have gone unanswered.