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Legislator plans town hall for ‘walkout’ students

Brighton High School student Isaac Reese speaks to students during a walkout in Cottonwood Heights on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The demonstration honored the 17 people killed during last month's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

BOUNTIFUL — A state lawmaker is asking high school and junior high students who participated in a walkout to share their concerns at a town hall meeting Thursday at Bountiful High School.

“There are students who feel unsafe or that we need changes at the district level or the state,” said Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross. “I just want to give these students a chance to be heard.”

Utah students joined others across the nation in walking out of class last month to protest school violence and urge politicians to crack down on gun control. Weiler’s event is aimed specifically at students who walked from his district, but he says other legislators are planning similar events in Salt Lake and Utah counties.

Brighton High School students hold signs featuring names of the 17 victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, during a walkout in Cottonwood Heights, March 14, 2018.
Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“Even though maybe they aren’t old enough to vote, the lawmakers and decision-makers are interested in what they have to say,” he said.

Meanwhile, students are planning another walkout — this time in support of the Second Amendment. The event is nationwide and called “Stand for the Second.” Students plan to walk out of class for 16 minutes.

Weiler said all students from either walkout are invited, but he plans to limit their comments to about two minutes each.

“I don’t want one student to get up and take an hour. We want to hear from a variety of students,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to listen to the kids and hear what they have to say.”

Thursday’s town hall starts at 6:30 p.m. at Bountiful High School, 695 S. Orchard Drive.