SCS will allow students to walk out in gun control protest

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Schools has officially given permission to students to leave class next month to march for change.

Students worked weeks to prepare for the meeting with Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and his team. Now, they're ready to take a stand and create change.

"I just saw one of the most amazing presentations that I've ever seen by a group of amazing students," Hopson said.

In a video, Hopson is seen raving about the hard work of Shelby County students fighting to create change.

"Asking people who are over schools, 'Can we walk out of schools?' That's an odd question to ask and for them to be behind us and support us was really something that I appreciated," Central High senior Hali Smith said.

Smith is one of the 10 students who met with the superintendent and his team, sharing plans for a student walkout that is scheduled for April 20.

April 20th is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, and SCS students hope to stand in solidarity with students in Parkland, Florida.

Their goal is spreading the message that gun violence in schools has to stop.

"That's where you spend most of your time outside of home," Smith said. "If you can't feel safe there, then what are we really doing? How is that really constructive? How are you really learning when you're worried about watching over your back for a gunman?"

Students want the walkout to consist of speakers, a die-in, and suggestions to create change.

Shelby County Schools tweeted this on Thursday:

With the approval from administration, students like Smith said they feel more empowered than ever before, and they hope both students and teachers will join the movement.

"I hope for systemic change," Smith said. "I hope that we can change legislation, we can change people's lives and hearts."

The school district also said it'll work with the student organizers, district leaders, and principals to create a plan as they get closer to April 20.

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