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Riverhead students gathered to remember those killed in Parkland

Several dozen Riverhead High School students took part in a national walkout Wednesday morning when they gathered together outside of the classrooms to remember the lives lost in the Florida school shooting one month ago. 

They gathered in an outdoor area the administration had designated.

A video posted on the Instagram page @walkoutrhs showed a student read the names of the 17 people killed after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.

To show support and raise awareness about issues of school safety and the impact of gun violence, high schools across the country participated in the Women’s March Youth Empower Walkout on the one-month anniversary of the Florida shooting.

A post shared by RHS Walkout (@walkoutrhs) on

In a letter Monday, Dr. Aurelia Henriquez, the superintendent of schools, laid out the plan for the school to honor the lives lost in Parkland.

“While we must remain neutral in our stance, as educators and parents, we are sensitive to the reason behind the March 14 event,” she said. 

The administration created a plan that she said would provide students with “the opportunity to promote positive outcomes.”

“To ensure the safety of our students, plans have been made to provide a controlled environment to exit the building to a secured outdoor area,” the superintendent’s memo detailed.

Also on Wednesday, Riverhead Middle School students paid tribute to the 17 lives lost through a classroom-based activities, centered around kindness, her memo said.

Elementary and middle school-aged students were not permitted to exit their school buildings. The superintendent said they would face disciplinary consequences if they did.

“Between March 14 and April 20, all schools in the district will teach and practice 17 random acts of kindness. Working together, students will create visual displays of random acts of kindness that have been demonstrated by fellow classmates,” Dr. Henriquez said.

A request for media access to the school during the event was denied.