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Idaho High School Students Plan Walkout Over Gun Violence

High school students will gather on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol to protest gun violence on March 14. (Kevin Rank/Flickr)
High school students will gather on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol to protest gun violence on March 14. (Kevin Rank/Flickr)
February 28, 2018

BOISE, Idaho — Some Idaho high school students are planning to join their peers across the country in mid-March to protest gun violence.

Students will stage a walkout on March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. They say they'll stand outside for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 victims of the tragedy.

Capital High School student Colette Raptosh says her group, People for Unity, is also organizing an "Enough is Enough" rally at the State Capitol. She says students from public high schools in Boise and other Treasure Valley cities want to give state leaders a message.

"Students don't feel safe at school and parents don't feel safe sending their kids to school," she laments. "And I think it's really important that with this message, they see that students are paying attention, they are listening, and they're not just going to sit back and not participate anymore - and their voices will be heard."

Raptosh notes that Idaho has some of the laxest gun laws in the country, making the issue of gun violence prevention in the Gem State even more critical. Women's March organizers are helping coordinate the walkouts nationwide.

Raptosh says feeling safe isn't a political issue.

"It doesn't matter, your political belief if you get shot or not," she says. "And I think that a lot of people know that they don't want to get shot in a school and I think that in end, that's what this is about. And maybe the paths to how they want to stop that are politically different, but I think that no one wants to ever have to go through that experience."

She adds the response from Parkland high school students in the wake of the shooting has been inspirational. Raptosh says students' voices can't be ignored on this issue any longer.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID