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Jon Shefner, head of the Department of Sociology, spoke to WBIR about recent walkouts staged by high school students to draw attention to concerns over school safety and gun violence. The demonstrations follow the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that killed 14 students, a teacher and two other staff members.

The walkouts are a way for students to express their frustrations, Shefner said.

“The whole logic, the whole idea, of these kind of strategies is to disrupt business as usual. And that’s really where the power lies. They can disrupt business as usual. So walking out of a school is by definition disruptive,” he said.