Protesters rally against gun violence on the steps of the old Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
LEE COUNTY, Fla (WFTX) — Students across Southwest Florida and the country are walking out of classes Wednesday to protest gun violence.
In Southwest Florida, walkouts were planned at Cape Coral High School, Ida Baker High School, Island Coast High, and Challenger Middle School, all in Cape Coral, at noon Wednesday.
A walkout was also planned at Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, Estero High School, East Lee County High in Lehigh Acres, and many other schools.
These walkouts come as students who survived the Florida school shooting last week are preparing to flood the Capitol in Tallahassee, pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people and vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change laws before their legislative session ends. About 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students arrived at a Tallahassee high school to extended applause late Tuesday after a nearly eight-hour trip.
Tuesday, the Florida House of Representatives voted down a motion to consider a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines
Statement from the Lee County School District:
"As educators, we can’t support or advocate disruptions during the school day. However, we recognize the importance of today’s message to some students. They want to feel safe and secure at school and their safety and security is our number one priority. Since the students who walked out have a right to free expression the District worked with our Principals to establish guidelines that would keep them safe on campus and encourage them to get back to class with as little disruption to the school day as possible."