Southington student refuses to take part in protest

SOUTHINGTON -- Seventeen minutes to remember those lost in Parkland, Florida is 17 minutes Matthew Shey feels are for something else.

"There’s you know, some political issues involved," said Shey, a senior at Southington High School.

He feels the walkout has more to do about gun control. Shey claims he won't participate in an effort that could result in the infringement of his liberties.

Southington Superintendent Tim Connellan said the protest is an opportunity for students to voice their concerns and desires. Connellan wants the protest to be all-encompassing.

“We need to work with all of our families, our staff and our students to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to do so if they wish, you know to engage in that activity and then to also stay in their classrooms. Or stay in the library media center," said Superintendent Connellan.

Shey said the protest should take place at a different location.

“Instead of coming to protest at a place where everybody is supposed to be learning and whatever, bring it to somewhere like the board of education or the state where it’s actually going to matter," said Shey.

In a statement to parents, Superintendent Connellan wrote in part, "Our goal -- will be to allow students to exercise their voice if they choose to do so and to engage in an activity in a safe environment in which no students will find themselves “getting in trouble” for their participation."

The walk-out will happen on Wednesday, March 14,  at 10 a.m.

Superintendent Connellan said the event will have an added police presence to ensure safety.