UVA and Albemarle County Students Plan to Participate in Walkout Event

Posted: Updated:
Megha Karthikeyan Megha Karthikeyan
Nicholas King Nicholas King

University of Virginia students, faculty, and staff are planning to take part in a nation-wide show of support for the victims of the Parkland school shooting.

A 17-minute demonstration is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, on the UVA Lawn. The event will honor of the 17 lives lost during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as protest gun-related violence.

The group will also have a room inside the UVA Rotunda where people can write letters to their lawmakers asking for change.

"We thought this would be a great opportunity to get everyone together, have a walk out to really show the nation that this is something students care about. And so after seeing all these things on Twitter, we realized this is something we can do. Students can do this so that sort of encouraged us to put this on," said Megha Karthikeyan, member of the UVA Student Council.

Albemarle County Public Schools said it won't stand in the way of students participating in walkout events Wednesday.

The school system said it respects the First Amendment rights of its students, but adds this is not an activity it condones and it is not involved at all in the planning.

“The courts have been really clear that students don't kind of drop their constitutional rights when they walk through the schoolhouse door. So our students have a right to express themselves as long as they do so in a way that's respectful of the educational environment,” said said ACPS Services Officer Nicholas King.

Albemarle County Public Schools plans to have a few more police officers at locations with higher turnout.

A solidarity march will be held at the UVA Amphitheater at 6 p.m. Wednesday.