Huntsville City Schools says their students will not walkout on National School Walkout Day

HUNTSVILLE Ala. -- On Wednesday, it will have been a month since a gunman killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Since then, students across the country have organized National School Walkout Day, where teachers and students will walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes, to call attention to school safety and remember the those killed in the Parkland school shooting.

However, Huntsville City Schools will not be participating in a walkout. Superintendent Matt Akin said instead, principals have worked with student leaders to come up with educational activities that will recognize the victims of the shooting. He said the main reason to not have a walkout is safety.

"We have a large high school. If you have 15 or 1,800 students all walking out at the same time," Akin said. "We were just mainly concerned about safety."

He said the activities vary for students of different ranges, but range from a moment of silence, or coming up with ways to meet someone you don't know or improving behavior. He said the activities are also designed to give students a voice in how to make their schools better.

"To look for ideas to make schools a safer place, and to really involve students and helping improve our schools," Akin said.

Akin said Huntsville City Schools safety plans have been assessed, and he feels good about the plans they have in place.

"We really do think we have safe schools, but we're always looking to improve," Akin said.

He said involving students in the programs tomorrow, giving them a voice, can only add to their efforts for safer schools. He said his goal for tomorrow's activities is raising awareness.

"And the importance that we have as school leaders, and teachers, to listen to students and listen to ideas students have, often I think they are the best ideas," Akin said.