Some students at Midway High School are organizing a student walk-out in honor of the 17 people killed at the school in Parkland, FL last month, according to M'Lynn Philips, a senior at Midway High School.
The walk-out is set to happen on March 14 at 10 a.m.
Students at Midway are saying they will be joining in the national 17-minute walk out.
“It is worth getting into trouble so that we can be in a safe environment to get our education,” said 16-year-old Casie Pollard, a Midway sophomore and walk-out organizer.
The national protest is being started by the Women's March. The organizations are encouraging students, teachers and their allies to walk out of schools on March 14 to protest gun violence.
Enough is enough!— Women's March (@womensmarch) February 16, 2018
Women's March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am on March 14, 2018. Join us in saying #ENOUGH!https://t.co/8ZE8uthRlZ pic.twitter.com/45yCZl4zDm
When Central Texas News Now contacted Midway ISD about the walk-out, spokeswoman Traci Marlin said the district planned a meaningful way to spend time with students to discuss their feelings and ideas for school safety. The district currently on spring break is expected to release more details about the activities it planned on Monday.
The event is one of two marches planned at the national level this month to advocate for gun control. Midway ISD students have joined a group of concerned citizens to be part of this movement. The group of concerned citizens is requesting a ban on AR-15 style rifles and bump stocks. In addition, it is asking the government to close loopholes on the purchase of the AR-15 style rifles.
Vicki Kabat who is part of the group of concerned citizens said she is supportive of the second amendment but not the ownership of these types of guns.
"These weapons that really are designed for doing nothing more than killing as many people as possible.There's no reason for citizens to have access this kind of weapon," Kabat said.
However, Founder and President of Open Carry Texas CJ Grisham who has used that rifle for hunting said banning the most popular rifle in the U.S. changes the second amendment.
"It changes the rights of the people to keep and bear arms. It changes things for the worse and it completely erodes our civil rights. I find it ironic that this group is using their first amendment right to infringe on my second amendment right," Grisham said.
Kabat said the intention with the proposals is to keep children safe, a goal that she said the Midway ISD students part of their group
"Show us that you value our lives more than you do the right to own these assault weapons.Show us that you value our lives, that you want to protect us. That's what these students said," Kabat stated.
Grisham said he also cares about school safety but he said banning guns is not the answer.
"They want to use this emotional issue, which is what it is to blame a firearm and not an individual," Grisham said. "I do value our lives, that's why I don't want to ban these weapons," Grisham said.
Kabat said the group understand there are underlying issues that may cause someone to carry out a shooting at a school, such as mental illness.
"We focused on this, because to us, is the most obvious to us: common sense gun laws," Kabat said. "Our schools should be safe places and learn without fear of a gunman coming in and killing them."
Central Texas News Now reached out to U.S. Representative Bill Flores (TX-17) about the actions the group is asking from legislators.
He responded with the following statement:
“The common denominator in many mass shootings is the existence of an underlying mental illness. To reduce gun violence in our nation we must confront the realities of severe mental illness and the connection to violence. As we explore better ways of identifying persons with mental health challenges, it is important that we continue to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while at the same time working to improve public safety. Last year, the House passed a bill to improve public safety by strengthening the reporting requirements of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; it is time the Senate act to pass this important legislation. I also support President Trump’s recent actions to overturn the Obama Administration’s ill-advised actions which exempted ‘Bump-Stocks’ from licensure," Congressman Bill Flores said.
There is a rally planned for March 24 at Heritage Square in downtown Waco. Students who survived the shooting in Florida are planning to march in Washington D.C. on the same date in an event called March for Our lives.
"What we do here ourselves may not accomplish anything but if you add our voice to our voice to the country so really I'm hopeful that legislators will say wait a minute," Kabat said.
Organizers encourage other communities to conduct a march on the same day.
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