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Mass. Students Plan Walkouts In Wake Of Florida School Shooting

Empty classroom with chairs.
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Students are taking part in walkouts across the country on Wednesday following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Massachusetts public schools are on February break, but students are organizing for the next planned walkout, scheduled for March 14.

Julia Albro-Fisher is an eighth-grader at JFK Middle School in Northampton.

"It scares me to go to school when I know it could happen to anyone," she said.

In Worcester County, sophomore Belle Croteau is organizing a walkout at Northbridge High School.

"I want to get a conversation started, I guess," Croteau said. "I don't know about specific laws or that kind of thing, but I just want people to pay attention, and know that students are angry, and upset, and that we want things to change."

Croteau said she wants to make a difference any way she can.

"This is an issue that just makes me so upset, and angry and scared," she said. "This is something I feel like I could actually try to do, and I could actually try to make a difference."

During the national protest on March 14, organizers are asking students to go outside at 10 a.m. and stay for 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 students and teachers killed last week in Parkland.

Another national walkout is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the school shooting in Columbine, Colorado. Massachusetts schools will again be on vacation during that protest.

Sam Hudzik has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Media since 2013. He manages a team of about a dozen full- and part-time reporters and hosts.
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