Book your next Las Vegas Hotel Now!!!
From Date
To Date

Clark County, UNLV students plan to join gun violence walkout - March 13th, 2018


Hundreds of Clark County students are expected to walk out of classes on Wednesday as part of a national event to remember the victims of last month’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and call attention to school safety and gun laws.

Students from at least a dozen high schools across the Las Vegas Valley and at UNLV have planned demonstrations to begin at 10 a.m. on the one-month anniversary of the Florida shooting. The walkouts, which are occurring across the country, are expected to last at least 17 minutes — one for each victim at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — though some are slated to last longer, with speakers and presentations.

The high school events are sanctioned by the Clark County School District and require that the students remain on campus. It is not clear if unsanctioned demonstrations will occur at other schools.

The school district initially opposed the walkouts, warning that students could face consequences if they participated. But officials later softened that stance, noting in a message to parents that it’s acceptable for students to participate in activities that are approved by their administrator beforehand.

Unexcused absences may still bring consequences, however, such as a notification sent home to parents and the inability to participate in extracurricular activities that day. Parents can excuse their students for activities outside school, including the walkouts.

Liberty High School freshman Andrew Wilson, who has helped plan an event there, said he began organizing after seeing other students across the nation doing so.

“I got really angry, because I hadn’t seen that at my school and it’s been a world of confusion with students talking about the issue,” he said.

He said the biggest goal of the Liberty event would be to push for changing gun laws, although other walkouts might have different goals.

School police will be monitoring the walkouts, said Capt. Ken Young.

Police have contingency plans in place, he said, but he would not detail what those were or whether there will be an increased police presence in schools.

“We hope that if there is any activity, it would all be peaceful— that is our desire,” he said. “We would hope that they would stay in class tomorrow and figure out other ways to advance their concerns and their cause, but we do know that there is a great possibility that students may walk out.”

UNLV students are also planning a demonstration, followed by several speakers.

Karl Catarata, a UNLV student activist, said he’s hoping for 150 attendees.

“We are asking for Congress folks and our legislators to pass effective policy and effective legislation to making sure our communities are safer from what has been going on in this country for years upon years upon years,” he said. “And truly, enough is enough. We need to have effective policies that will protect our students and protect our schools from being battlegrounds for people who are interested in seeking out terror.”

UNLV school police will be monitoring the event, Catarata said.

Students aren’t the only ones organizing to show their concerns.

Desiree Acedo, a mother of three students in Clark County, is planning a protest outside Las Vegas City Hall. She said the goal isn’t to ban all guns, but to lobby for a re-examination of existing laws.

“Something has to be done,” she said. “We’ve got to catch their attention somehow. And across the nation there’s many groups like myself — parents, children alike — that are just saying enough is enough.”

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Natalie Bruzda contributed to this report.