The Owatonna Magnet student website reports that about 120 OHS students participated in a national walkout Wednesday, that marked one month since a shooting at a Florida school left 17 dead. Members of the Steele County Indivisible organization were also at the protest, which was held on the steps of Owatonna High School.

The Magnet quotes a student as saying, "It's not just about Florida. It's about all of the school shootings that have ever happened." Another students said, "We can give seventeen minutes of our lives for seventeen who can't." Students held signs that proclaimed, #NeverAgain.

A representative of Steele County Indivisible told the Magnet, "We have about 15-20 people who come to our meetings," and added, "We work on healthcare. We work on immigration and the environment. We have some forums which are open to the public." The national website for RISE Stronger states, "Our state chapters approach the work of civic and political engagement from the ground up, starting in communities around the country."

In a recent email newsletter from the Owatonna School District, Superintendent Jeff Elstad said, "The safety of our students is a top priority. Whenever there is violence on a school campus, it prompts us to review the safety measures and plans that we have in place." He cited examples of ways students are protected, including single-entry points in all Owatonna school buildings, security cameras and a new system that requires visitors to provide picture identification for admission.

Elstad also indicated community service officers are on duty at Owatonna High School and that emergency procedure drills and regularly held. "We have a role in sustaining a safe learning environment. If you or your child see something out of the ordinary or concerning, say something to someone involved. Working as a community, we remain committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for students and staff."



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