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Metro Detroit students wary of violence as they plan walkout protests for Wednesday

Posted at 9:45 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 21:45:04-04

Hundreds of thousands of students in Michigan and across the country are expected to ditch class Wednesday to honor the Parkland, Florida victims and protest perceived gun control inaction.

But some are concerned the walkout could provide prime opportunity if someone wants to do harm.

Organizers of the walkout at Starkweather Academy say it crossed their minds that they could become targets.

At 10:00 am students across the country and in metro Detroit are expected to leave school to urge congressional action on gun regulation, joining the choir orchestrated by the student victims of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“We’ve just seen what has happened in the past, like Columbine, Sandy Hook, all of those previous schools that have gone through similar shootings and at this point we’re kind of like ‘enough is enough’ and we’re going to use our voices to actually make a change,” says Maggie Fleury a Starkweather senior.

For 17 minutes - one for each victim in Florida - school administrators expecting the protest to remain calm.

“We’re looking for a peaceful demonstration, one that’s got, that’s thoughtful and one that is able to get the support and the voice behind honoring the victims of Parkland,” says Gary Niehaus. “I’m hoping that kids that are out and sincere and take it serious and do it in a respectful way.”

Both school officials and student organizers themselves recognize the need to think about safety with such a divisive topic.

“We need to be close to the school at all times. we are staying on the lawn which is like 10 feet away from the actual building,” says Triston Wilburn a Starkweather senior. “In order to keep us safe we are calling the police department because everyone doesn’t agree with what we are saying.”