Schools brace for massive student walkouts over gun violence

In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Somerville High School students sit on the sidewalk on Highland Avenue during a student walkout at the school in Somerville, Mass. A large-scale, coordinated demonstration is planned for Wednesday, March 14, when organizers have called for a 17-minute school walkout nationwide to protest gun violence. (Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Schools around the country are bracing for a series of student walkouts to protest gun violence.

Since 17 students and staff members were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month, demonstrations have sprung up all over the country.

But the first large-scale, coordinated national demonstration is planned for March 14, when organizers of the Women’s March have called for a 17-minute school walkout.

School administrators are scrambling to figure out how to let thousands of students exercise their First Amendment rights while not disrupting school and not pulling administrators into the gun control debate.

Some schools have taken a hard line, threatening to suspend students who participate. Others are setting up on-campus locations where students can remember the victims of the Florida shooting and express their views.