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High school told students they could "walk up" not "walk out" to bring awareness to Fla. shooting


Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) — Carolina Forest High School students planning to join classmates across the country Wednesday in remembering the victims of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting were disappointed when officials said they had to stay inside.

"Our school gave us choices to sit in silence or to go out into the hallway while we listened to bells ring for 17 seconds," senior Kyle Ewing said.

The students ABC15 spoke with said the school encouraged them to "walk up" instead of walk out, by being nice to others and smiling in the hallways.

However, they said it missed the mark.

"It kind of implies that, had the Parkland victims smiled, perhaps they would be here today, and I think by doing that, they placed the blame where it shouldn't be placed," senior Channelle Russell said.

Many of the students said they should be able to protest how they saw fit, citing the First Amendment.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that there are certain limitations to protesting in schools after a group of students in Iowa were barred from wearing black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War.

In what is now known as the "Tinker Test," after the name of the court case, school officials can only limit protesting if it would disrupt the school's operation or classes.

Leaving the school building for 17 minutes, as the students wished to do, would be considered a disruption.

A school district official explained that if the district were to allow Wednesday's walk out, they'd have to allow all walk outs. But that didn't sit well with the students.

"We shouldn't have to wait to watch our friends and our classmates and our teachers die right in front of us to speak out about this issue," Ewing said.

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