Lewiston-Auburn students plan walkouts to honor shooting victims

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Students at Lewiston High School and Edward Little High School in Auburn are planning 17-minute walkouts on March 14 to honor students and teachers who died at the Feb. 14 Florida high school shooting.

The walkouts are listed on an Action Network website, https://tinyurl.com/yb7rl2sn.

The “Enough” walkouts will be held for 17 minutes, from 10 to 10:17 a.m., each minute honoring one of the 17 Florida victims.

The purpose of the walkout is also to emphasize that change is needed, Lewiston High School junior Christa Wilcox said Tuesday.

“I think it’s awful that in today’s world students can’t feel safe going to school,” she said, “that there are people out there who will come in and kill us. I don’t think anybody’s really doing enough about it.”

She hopes the nationwide walkouts will get the attention of lawmakers.

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“I don’t think we should have assault weapons available to citizens,” she said. “They’re meant to kill people. They’re not meant for hunting.”

Superintendent Bill Webster said Tuesday the administration supports the students.
“We look forward to working with students in helping to give them voice and purpose for this time,” he said. “Most everyone is on vacation this week, but we will have a couple of weeks to work collaboratively on the day.”

Edward Little High School student Leah Burtchell, who said in an email to the Sun Journal that she’s also involved in planning the walkout and a march, also wrote to Maine’s congressional delegation asking for action. She shared that letter with the Sun Journal.

The number of school shootings in the country “is not normal, and we should not feel that it is normal,” Burtchell said. She asked: Should the right to bear arms include military weapons meant for war “handed to a 19-year-old with mental health problems? … I am a 15-year-old sophomore at Edward Little High School. School no longer feels safe to me or my peers,” she wrote.

She added that the federal government is failing to protect people. “Gun control is vital, and we don’t have enough of it,” she said.

“How many deaths is it going to take for someone in power to stand up and do something?” she said.

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