Horry County Schools won't allow school walkout Wednesday

Horry County Schools won't allow students to take part in Wednesday's National School Walkout to honor the 17 high school students killed by a school shooter on Feb. 14, according to a school district announcement.

"I think there’s some leeway given to each school if they want to honor the students who were slain in Florida, but one thing we have not allowed is a walkout to the outside, which obviously puts children in harm’s way having them all congregating in an area that’s outside that’s totally unprotected," said school board Chair Joe DeFeo.

Wednesday marks exactly one month since the 17 students were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with killing the students.

In a Monday night announcement, the school district said it would offer a "safe alternative" to a walkout.

According to the announcement, "Schools have been working with staff and student leaders to identify options that will take place inside the schools and student participation will be voluntary," but students may not go outside without risking disciplinary action.

"I have no problem whatsoever if they want to honor the slain students from Florida as long as they don’t do anything that could endanger their lives and some crazy person wanted to do something," DeFeo said.

If students do walk out of school, DeFeo said punishments would be handled by the administration and individual schools.

"I can’t see where the students can do whatever they want," he said, adding that he thought students would understand the reasoning. "This is about school safety. I think they’ll cooperate."

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian