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While thousands of local students partook in a collective school walkout Wednesday to protest gun violence, students at schools in Scappoose were told beforehand they’d face consequences if they participated.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, students across northwest Oregon and southwest Washington left their classrooms for a 17-minute walkout, honoring each victim killed in the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida high school shooting with a minute of demonstration.

Feelings about the walkout were mixed for students and parents, and questions arose on how students could or could not participate in accordance to school policies.

One school district wanted to give clear answers.

The Scappoose School District informed FOX 12 that it didn’t prohibit or encourage students to participate in the walkout and the following message delivered at its schools before the 10 a.m. walkout: Students should be peaceful and respectful if they choose to participate. Student may not create a disruption to the educational environment. The student handbook policy regarding attendance will be followed. A walkout protest is an act of civil disobedience and, by definition, a violation of rules. Students will receive an unexcused absence for the time they are out of class. The penalty for this will be no greater than if a student left class for the same period of time without permission for any other reason. The consequence for an unexcused absence is a Saturday school and exclusion from after-school practices and activities on the afternoon of the unexcused absence. If students leave campus or choose not to return to class, they will receive increased consequences. Students choosing to participate in the walkout will be directed to a safe place to assemble. Our current understanding is that they will be congregating in the bus turnaround area.“Students were made aware of the cost of walking out of their classroom/learning environment. Part of adolescence is developing informed decision-making skills and knowing the intended consequences of actions. Our students who participated in the national walkout did so knowing what the ramifications would be,” said the district.

According to the district, fewer than 50 students at Scappoose High School and seven students at Scappoose Middle School participated in the walkout.

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