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Little Rock schools prepare for walkouts after Florida school shooting

LRSD prepares for National School Walkout

The Little Rock School District on Tuesday announced its preparations ahead of Wednesday’s planned student demonstrations after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Wednesday will mark one month since Nikolas Cruz allegedly walked into Stoneman Douglas High School, opened fire and took the lives of 17 students and faculty members.

An activist group known as EMPOWER is encouraging students, teachers, school administrators and parents across the country to take part in a school walkout for 17 minutes at 10 a.m., across every time zone, to press lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws and to honor the lives of the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas.

“We can’t forget that 17 lives were lost and that has an impact on that community … our entire nation and impact in Little Rock,” said Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore.

Just hours ahead of what will be a national protest, the district is preparing for their high school students to participate.

“I believe this is an opportunity, a real teaching moment for our schools and students to understand what protest is about and their voice does matter,” said Poore.

Last week, the school district sent a letter to parents asking that they discuss the national protest with their children and ask them to demonstrate peacefully. While Poore would not disclose what each campus has planned for the walkout, he confirmed that the district is working with the Little Rock Police Department to ensure the safety of their schools.

Other school districts plan to handle Wednesday's protests differently. Conway Public Schools made a statement on their Facebook page saying that if their students choose to walk out of class , they will “be subject to the appropriate consequences.”

On Monday, Bentonville Schools posted on their Twitter page, “Students who choose to participate in Wednesday's walkout at 10 a.m. will be counted absent and assigned a detention, in accordance with the student handbook.”

The Little Rock School District also plans to take disciplinary action if their students are not back in class immediately after the allotted time for the protest and demonstration.

The district also announced on Tuesday that sometime next month, they will make a proposal in which they will recommend arming their security team.

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