New Jersey

NJ School District Threatens Suspensions Over Planned Walkout Following Parkland Shootings

Students at one New Jersey school could face suspension if they join a nationwide walkout to mark a month since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

Students in Sayreville will face two days of suspension if they participate in a 17-minute protest, commemorating the 17 students and faculty killed in Parkland, according to district officials.

"I would rather my kids be in school safe and I don't believe this demonstration is really going to change anything," said Veena Birthwal, whose children attend school in Sayreville.

Despite some parents support of the district's officials, many believe the students should be marching. 

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"I think that's wrong, sorry, I think we need to show solidarity," said Lisa Whiteman. 

Other districts throughout the state, meanwhile, are taking a different approach. At Freehold High School, students aren't being encouraged to walk out. But they won't face punishment if they do, and the district has been working with them to find other ways for their voices to be heard on issues such as gun control.

"They're going to write letters to political leaders, to register to vote and to learn more about the March 24 movement," said Freehold High School Principal Linda Jewell, referencing the March For Our Lives, a student march to end gun violence on March 24. 

While few schools in southern New Jersey have signed up for the nationwide walkouts, around 300 schools across the tri-state area will be showing some kind of support. 

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