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WDC students participate in National Walkout Day

About 100 students walked out of class Wednesday morning in Wadena as part of a nationwide effort by students to honor the 17 victims of the Florida school massacre. (Photo courtesy of Dana Cantleberry)

Approximately 100 Wadena-Deer Creek students took part in the National Walkout Day Wednesday morning.

The event was held one month after the Feb. 14 tragedy occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Seventeen students and faculty members were killed that day by a 19-year-old gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle.

The WDC students gathered in front of the main entrance to their Minnesota school in sunny but chilly weather.

Jordin VanOurkerk, a WDC fifth grader, called the national event "amazing."

"It makes me feel we're standing up for those who died in the shooting," VanOurkerk said.

Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Lee Westrum told the Pioneer Journal the administration would support the First Amendment rights of the students who wished to participate in the event.

"Anytime you have events like this a lot of learning can take place," Westrum said.

The WDC students who took part in the National Walkout Day event were accompanied by adult supervisors. The administration supplied students with a 17-point checklist of things they can do to make a positive impact and honor the 17 victims.

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