Eastside schools prepare for National School Walkout

Students at Finn Hill Middle School in Kirkland are preparing for the National School Walkout on Wednesday.

Sam Pozen started an online petition for his classmates to sign. So far, 175 students have signed up to walk out on Wednesday. Students plan to gather outside the school for 17 minutes.

"It's to protest gun violence and honor the 17 students who passed at Parkland, to let Congress know we want a change and want better gun control," said Sam Pozen, 14. "Middle schoolers can also make a change, it doesn't matter how young you are, you can make a difference."

The Lake Washington School District said students who leave class will get unexcused absences.

Holland Hurley, 14, plans to walk out anyway.

"We are tired of constant shooting. We just want change and we want to remember those 17 people who died," said Hurley. "I'm tired of 'thoughts and prayers'. I want change."

At Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Sammamish, students and staff will celebrate "Wear Blue for Kindness Day." Students are encouraged to wear blue, and teachers will wear shirts that say "Choose Kind."

PTSA leaders Heather Chapman and Sarah Kimsey came up with the idea and took it to the district.

"How are we going to move forward and what do we want to be teaching our younger children about this day?" said Kimsey.

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Students are encouraged to perform random acts of kindness, make contact with students who may be lonely and make new friends.

Principal Brady Howden has his blue shirt ready.

"Wednesday is really about positivity," said Howden. We're really going to highlight it as a whole school."

"Wear Blue for Kindness Day" has spread to many other elementary schools in the Lake Washington School District and other nearby districts.