On the other hand, missing 17 minutes out of a school day and, in turn, an entire school year seems neither substantially nor materially disruptive. Supporters say they represent a realization of power and influence by young people raised on social media who have come of age in an era of never-ending wars, highly publicized mass shootings and virulent national politics.
The coordinated walkout was organized by Empower, the youth wing of the Women's March, which brought thousands to Washington, D.C., last year.
Students and faculty from schools in Wake, Durham, Cumberland and Johnston counties, from Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools and other districts in central North Carolina will walk out for 17 minutes to honor the 17 people killed and others injured on Valentine's Day.
The group is demanding that Congress "recognize all forms of gun violence" by passing new legislation to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, expand background checks to all gun sales, implement a gun violence restraining order law and stop militarizing law enforcement.
"Our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence", the group said on its website.
Some of the money will be allocated to hire and train more school resource officers and mental health counselors and install extra safety equipment, like security cameras, metal detectors, bulletproof glass and automatic locking devices.
"We are requesting that students do not participate in the walkout; we have sent guides to all of our schools, we have sent guides to parents, that if students do decide to walk out they will be marked as tardy and if they miss the entire class they will be marked truant".
Students locally and across the country show their support for tighter gun laws in walkout protests.
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Students from Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Holyoke are expected to rally for an hour outside the Springfield headquarters of Smith & Wesson to demand a meeting with the gun manufacturer's chief executive to discuss how the manufacturer can "help reduce gun violence". Case instructors said 150 or more students will line a sidewalk along a nearby road, carrying posters with the names of Parkland victims. Some have applauded students for taking a stand, while others threatened discipline.
More than 300 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students have been preparing for the peaceful demonstration for weeks.
But some vowed to walk out anyway. There is no negative effect on any student with conflicting views, or those who don't want to participate for any reason.
While not knowing all the answers, student-after-student said there's too many guns on the streets. However, I believe it would be unwise not to prepare and provide families with information.
Other schools sought a middle ground, offering "teach-ins" or group discussions on gun violence. No student will be permitted to leave campus without being properly checked out by a parent.
Cohen said this walkout is a district-wide event, a first of its kind for Portland Public Schools.
Free speech advocates geared up for battles. The American Civil Liberties Union issued advice for students who walk out, saying schools can't legally punish them more harshly because of the political nature of their message.
"We want to talk to Smith & Wesson about how they are prepared to be a part of the solution, which includes shouldering the costs that our communities are bearing - both the human costs and the financial costs - of what their product does", she said.