Ohio school shooting survivor says national walkout ‘disrespectful’ to Florida victims

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LOGAN COUNTY — An Ohio teenager wounded in a school shooting last year says he thinks it’s disrespectful to victims of the February massacre in Parkland, Florida, to use that tragedy to further a particular political agenda.

West Liberty-Salem High School student Logan Cole said in a Facebook video he won’t participate in the Wednesday student walkouts promoted by organizers of the Women’s March.

He argues that they’re oversimplifying the problem of school violence by advocating more gun control as the solution.

“I feel like violence in our schools and in our society is a much deeper issue, and I feel like it’s a little bit simplistic to look at this and point out gun control as the problem,” he said.

Cole said it’s better to honor the Parkland victims in a nonpolitical way. He is inviting classmates to join him in doing that through a midday Wednesday memorial service at his school.

He said the gathering will include readings of the names of the 17 victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and moments of silence. Similar actions are planned with many of the coordinated school walkouts scheduled around the country on Wednesday, the one-month anniversary of the Florida shooting.

Cole calls his own survival a “miracle” after being shot twice with a shotgun at close range in January 2017 at a bathroom in his school near West Liberty, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) northwest of Columbus. Cole was critically hurt, and another student was slightly injured.

The teen suspect in the shooting has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges including attempted murder.

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