PORTLAND (AP) — The superintendent of Portland’s public school system says students won’t be punished for taking part in a national student walkout spurred by the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Superintendent Xavier Botana said Saturday that students will be allowed to participate in March 14 event, citing the students’ rights to freedom of speech.

WGME-TV reports students will neither be pressured to participate nor will they be punished for taking part.

The walkout is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 14, with students from several schools in Maine planning to participate. It is scheduled to last for 17 minutes, a minute for each victim of the Parkland shooting.

The district says they will inform police about the plan for the student walkout.

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