LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Students in the Los Angeles Unified school district were urged Wednesday to not walk out of school on March 14 to participate in a planned national protest against gun violence.

The Women’s March Youth EMPOWER group is encouraging students, teachers and parents to take part in a school walkout at 10 a.m. on March 14 for 17 minutes – a minute for every person killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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While students “have the right to freedom of speed, and they may participate in peaceful dialogue and activities on campus during non-instructional periods,” Vivian Ekchian, the interim superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District, urged parents to “talk to their children and encourage them not to leave campus.”

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“Our goal is to provide students with opportunities to express themselves in a safe manner that respects the school environment and all perspectives,” she said.

Instead, students can honor the 17 lives lost by participating in on-campus activities for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. on March 14, Ekchian said.

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