Students at some schools in region plan activities on day of national walkout

South Charleston High School students hold a sign that says "We stand with you." (WCHS/WVAH)

Students at least several area schools will be conducting activities Wednesday as students across the country are preparing for an organized walkout.

At South Charleston High School, hundreds of students stood in the hallway to show support for students across the country who have experienced gun violence at their schools. An alternative to a walkout, South Charleston students held a walk-in or walk-up to promote kindness.

For 17 minutes, the names and biographies of the 17 people killed Feb. 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida were read. Candles were lit to remember them.

"It's very sad that so many students had to lose their lives at such a young age and I couldn't imagine if that happened at this school," said Auzhane Gilmer, South Charleston High School student body president. "It would break my heart."

When the 17 minutes were up, students were encouraged to walk up to others, put aside their differences and be kind.

"It was really just a good experience for all of us because this year our student council is trying to promote kindness with everybody," Chesla Crowder, junior class president, said. "We just wanted to spread kindness not only in our school but hopefully with other schools in the nation and stuff."

The Action Network Facebook page said Capital High School students will be walking out at 10 a.m. to the flag pole in the circle outside the school. The website said the walkout has the full support from administrators, and no students will be punished.

Briana Warner, communications director for Kanawha County Schools, said Horace Mann Middle School posted on its Facebook page that it will be allowing students to go out of the school at 10 a.m. with teachers.

It was unclear whether any other Kanawha County schools will be observing the day. The district is encouraging meetings inside the school – rather than outside – if they do participate.

Meanwhile, Eyewitness News has learned that Huntington High School will be participating at 2:38 p.m. with a rally that will last just past 3 p.m. School officials said students who wish to participate will be allowed outside the main office plaza.

Students across the nation are preparing for an organized walkout Wednesday, pushing for tougher gun laws and honoring the Parkland, Fla., shooting victims.

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