Rapid City Area Schools

Rapid City Area Schools will allow students to use a gym or commons area or whatever area their principal designates for a walkout Wednesday to protest congressional inaction on gun violence.

Katy Urban, communications manager for the school district, said this week in a Journal interview that students will be allowed to use the designated areas for 17 minutes. School walkouts of that duration are planned across the country at 10 a.m. Wednesday as part of a student-led movement that arose in response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school, where 17 people were killed.

Urban said there will be extra law enforcement present Wednesday at Rapid City schools to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the protests. Students will not be counted as absent for attending the protests unless they leave school grounds or do not return to class.

"We want to support their right to express themselves," Urban said.

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