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.

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.”

“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.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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