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BHS students participate in nationwide school walkout.

A group of Burnsville High School students participated in a national school walkout Wednesday afternoon by the flagpole in the front of the building.

The protest started at noon and lasted 17 minutes, for the 17 victims killed in the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. last week. The protest was started by a flyer that circulated around social media.

Principal Dave Helke said in part that he was thankful for the students being respectful and orderly during the peaceful protest in an email sent out to BHS parents. District 191 superintendent Cindy Amoroso said similarly in a statement on her Twitter account.

Some teachers and students saw this peaceful protest as a way of learning about civil engagement and first amendment rights outside of the classroom. While most students were respectfully protesting, some noted that some students just used the walkout as an excuse to skip class.

“A lot of the people that participated didn’t know why there were doing it,” said BHS senior Jayde Grass, “and I personally thought it was disrespectful that kids walked out just to get out of class.”

Helke noted in his email sent to parents that students would be excused from any absences or tardies that were marked by teachers during the protest, if they were participating.

There are two other nationwide protests planned later this year, one on Mar. 14 led by the Women’s March program, and another on Apr. 20.