Sarasota County Schools planning March 14 observance in response to gun violence

Event will begin at 10 a.m. and last 17 minutes

Image from Twitter

The Sarasota County School District is working with students and school administrators to plan an observance in conjunction with walkout events scheduled to take place nationwide on March 14, the district has announced.

“This is in response to students, faculty, administrators and employees wanting to lend their voice to remember those who lost their lives” at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and around the country as a result of gun violence, a news release says.

The observance at Sarasota County high schools will take place at 10 a.m. on March 14 and continue for 17 minutes, the release explains. (Seventeen people died during the Parkland incident on Feb. 14.) It will be “planned and led by students with guidance and support from school district personnel,” the release adds. “We want students to feel empowered to participate in this unprecedented event and honor our friends and colleagues affected by the shooting on Feb. 14. This event is part of the #NationalSchoolWalkout march,” the release points out.

“We acknowledge that many of our students and district employees want to participate in this event to recognize and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” said Superintendent Todd Bowden in the release. “I know our students will plan thoughtful events during the 17 minutes of observation on March 14 to remember the fallen, especially fellow students and those in the education field affected by this tragedy.”

The other national walkout event, March for Our Lives, is planned for March 24 during the school district’s spring break, the release notes. “The school district does not have a planned observance in conjunction with this event,” it adds. However, “we hope any student who takes part in this event will do so safely,” the release concludes.