17 minutes: Berks students honor lives lost at Fla. school

SHILLINGTON, Pa. - Students across Berks County paused for 17 minutes Wednesday to honor each of the 17 lives lost in Florida one month ago and to call for an end to such violence in schools.

Students at Governor Mifflin Senior High School in Shillington took part in the national walkout by gathering around the flagpole for a vigil and moment of silence.

At Exeter Township Senior High School, students remained indoors, where they were offered the opportunity to reflect silently and to record video messages to send to legislators and to survivors of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida.

"I am hopeful, and I want them to understand how important this is to us because it could happen again and again and again, and we won't know when it stops," said Exeter student Madison Schlott.

In Reading, intermediate high school students walked in a peace march while those in the high school stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the hallways and listened to student leaders share their thoughts about the impact of gun violence.

At the city's Northwest and Southwest middle schools, students observed a moment of silence before participating in various activities in their classrooms.

At Brandywine Heights High School in Longswamp Township, several students gathered around the flag pole ahead of a symposium on school safety. Panelists included state Sen. Judy Schwank and Pennsylvania State Police Trooper David Beohm.

The goal, according to the school, was to ensure that "student concerns are addressed" and that "the conversation does not stop today."

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