Northeast Wisconsin schools prepare for 'National School Walkout'

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - Student groups all over the country are staging a ‘National School Walkout’ this Wednesday, including some in Northeast Wisconsin. The student advocates are doing it to demand better school security measures and in remembrance of the 17 students and faculty members killed in last month's Florida school shooting.

De Pere Middle School

The concept of the ‘National School Walkout’ is for students to walk out of class for 17 minutes, representing the 17 lives lost.

The principals at De Pere middle and high schools are working with student leaders to make Wednesday’s walkout possible for those wanting to participate.

"The students need to know that we're listening to them, and I think what we're doing for them is modeling for them appropriate ways to share a concern, create a plan, and follow through with that plan and make sure what they're doing is with the right intention," said Betty Hartman, principal of De Pere Middle School.

"It's just about finding your voice you know, they're a part of this country. I get excited about the fact that they're finding their voice, it is great life lessons," said Nick Joseph, principal of De Pere High School.

Students will lead the program at both De Pere Middle School and De Pere High School, which include speeches and a time of reflection.

"They really played a role in organizing it and we've really turned it over to them to organize it and make sure that it's what they wanted and felt like they had a voice in it," said Adam Kramer, assistant principal of De Pere Middle School.

Administrators say they're not participating and are mainly there to make sure students stay safe.

De Pere parents are made aware and will not have to excuse their kids. The two schools will begin their 'National School Walkout' programs at 10 a.m. Students going outside will be required to stay on school property and come back into the building right after the programs.

Unlike De Pere both Green Bay and Appleton schools are asking parents to excuse their kids for the 17-minute walkout.

Joseph reminds all students their participation in these plans are not required.

"No matter how passionate you are or in your mind you think ‘who can argue with this point?’ There are going to be people that disagree, and that's okay as long as we do so respectfully and I just think what a great growing opportunity for these kids," said Joseph.