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Thousands of students walk out, protest gun violence at Minnesota Capitol

The students in Minnesota aren't the only young people to demonstrate against gun violence this week.

The walk-out and protest had originally been planned by students at St. Paul Central High School, but snowballed after students from surrounding schools heard about it via social media and chose to join.

Dayton, a Democrat, said the money in his proposal could help pay for improvements such as bulletproof glass and secure entrances as well as hire more counselors or school-resource officers. And it would ensure that school districts adequately track expelled students, and share information on those students with other schools throughout the state. And although similar tragedy hasn't touched Minnesota, anxiety is running high after a slew of recent threats at schools, including a six-hour lockdown at public schools in Orono last month.

"She says students want the Legislature to act". His proposal includes a one-time investment of $15.9 million for school safety improvements and interventions for expelled students, along with an additional recurring amount of $5 million in mental health grant funding for schools.

America's high school students are refusing to be silenced in calls for gun control, galvanized by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February that left 14 students and three teachers dead and the bold activism of the surviving students that followed. And two years before that, in Cold Spring, a Rocori High School student shot and killed two of his peers at school. "The students at my school felt one shared experience - our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools".

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Additionally, Dayton's proposal would add another $5 million in school-based mental health programs, to be allocated via grants.

In the House, Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, chair of the House Education Finance Committee, has authored a bill that would free up access to an existing pot of school funding, rather than add a new dedicated set of funds to enhance school safety measures.

Fitzpatrick said students want the Minnesota Legislature to take action.

The weather noontime Wednesday in St. Paul was around 25 degrees, but many students braved the wintry chill with only T-shirts on and trudged through the snow in tennis shoes. Some carried signs that read "protect kids not guns" and "make our schools safe again". "If we can't be safe while we are learning, then what's the point?" The governor also supports the bump stock ban bill introduced by Rep. Jack Considine, DFL-Mankato; increased public health research on guns; and raising the age limit to purchase military-style assault weapons to 21.

Republicans have been reluctant to discuss gun bills this session, which is why Dayton is proposing school safety funding separate from other issues.



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