Texas district to suspend students protesting gun laws

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A Texas school district has threatened to suspend any of its students who stage walk out or cause other disruption in order to protest gun laws following the mass shooting in Florida.

In a letter to parents, Curtis Rhodes, the Needville Independent School District's superintendent, said it would "not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness". A Houston-area school district says students who participate in similar rallies face being expelled.

Demonstrators hold placards at a rally for gun control outside of the White House in Washington, D.C., February 19, 2018.

But some students in Texas face suspension if they heed the call to action.

Needville High School issued a statement claiming "all will be suspended for three days" regardless of how many students protested.

In his letter, Rhodes also said life is all about choices we make, stressing on the point that "every choice has a outcome whether it be positive or negative".

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference Wednesday that his department has investigated seven local threats of school violence since a man opened fire with an AR-15 assault rifle at a high school in Parkland, Fla. on Valentine's Day, leaving 17 people dead.

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He told GQ he thought about going public with what happened, but he was afraid that such a disclosure would destroy his career. His mother had just died, and he'd had a unusual decade: "I changed houses; I went through a divorce".

Lorenzo Prado, also a junior at Stoneman Douglas, said he was there "to demand change from my government".

Comments on social media criticized the superintendent for stifling students' freedom of speech.

Hundreds of students descended on city hall in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and marched in other cities, including Chicago, the midwestern metropolis wracked by gun violence.

Several school officials across the USA are threatening to punish students and teachers who exercise their First Amendment right during planned marches, protests and school walk-outs.

"Hey hey, ho ho, the NRA has got to go", they chanted.

Students in Florida have already take part in walkouts, with student activists from Parkland calling for a national school walkout on March 14, and a "March for Our Lives" planned on Washington D.C. on March 24.

The student uprisings follow the February 14 shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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