Phoenix middle schoolers suspended after walkout protesting gun violence

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Dozens of Phoenix middle schoolers were suspended Tuesday after leaving school campus following a walkout to protest gun violence and support victims of the Florida school shooting.

It happened at Ingleside Middle School near 56th Street and Indian School Road.

"We are still young Americans,” eighth-grader Madeline McRoberts said. “We have rights and we feel like we need to express those rights to make sure that the president and all these political figures hear our voices because they haven't done anything yet and we really think they need to make a change."

Many of the students had their parents’ permission. They signed their students out in an effort to show respect for the district’s rules. A Scottsdale Unified School District spokesperson says it's a violation of the district's code of conduct to leave school grounds during the school day without parental permission. The district clarified that the students were suspended for leaving campus, not because they took part in the class walkout and on-campus observance. 

"As parents, we felt that this was important for them to express their First Amendment rights and something that they cared about,” parent Skye Guina explained.

The walkout lasted 17 minutes – one minute for each person killed in Parkland shooting two weeks ago.

[PHOTOS: These are the victims of the Florida school shooting]

About 70 to 75 students participated and there were about 30 of them who did not immediately go back to class.

Those students were given a one-day suspension. They reportedly had been warned of that possibility.

As parents, we felt that this was important for them to express their First Amendment rights and something that they cared about.

Student walkouts like this have been taking place all over the country in the wake of the deadly Parkland shooting.

The American Civil Liberties Union and its People Power project are putting on a workshop to help students understand their rights when participating in such event.

“Plans for coordinated student walkouts have been making national news and have already spurred disciplinary threats from some school administrators,” according to PeoplePower.org. “That’s why it’s so important that everyone – especially students and allies – learns about students' rights.”

The training call is Thursday, March 1 at 6 p.m. Arizona time. Click here to register.

Opened in 1956 and then rebuilt in 2013, Ingleside is part of the Scottsdale Unified School District and serves more than 750 six-, seventh- and eighth-graders.


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