US high school students in mass walkout over gun reform


The #ENOUGH National School Walkout was meant to pressure federal and state lawmakers to tighten laws on gun ownership despite opposition by the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights advocacy group.

The nationwide event honored the fallen students and staff and sought to bring change in the area of gun control.

MA has the nation's lowest rate of gun deaths and some of the strictest gun laws, but students called on legislators for more - such as the so-called "red flag" law to let household members petition courts to temporarily remove guns from people who pose risks.

At 10.00am (1400 GMT), students in numerous USA cities held a moment of silence to honour the 14 students and three adult staff killed on Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students at the school will continue their walk-up campaign, which focuses on reaching out to 17 other students especially those who may seem lonely or marginalized.

Students and administrators said they see the walkout as the continuation of a legacy of fighting for change.

Antioch High School students held a peaceful protest Thursday morning after violence broke out Wednesday during what was supposed to be a protest for National Walk Out Day. Grieger put out a Facebook post expressing support for any student action.

MacDonald claims other students with pro-gun signs such as "Arm our teachers" were allowed to remain during the walkout. "And I think that it's our responsibility to recognize that", added Central studentOllie Burrow, "and realize that we can achieve that as well". And another round of school walkouts is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.

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While the students were able to finish the school year, the controversy continued.

The students I spoke with say time's up for politicians who aren't taking gun restrictions seriously.

"We all know why we're here - 17 lives lost", she said to break the silence, also noting the number of lives lost to shootings prior to Parkland.

Shelly Galloway, the district's spokeswoman, said school and district administration were pleased at how well the students behaved.

Jo Berry says, "I'm getting a wonderful education and I don't want to be afraid of being slaughtered". "They did it right, and I'm proud of them".

Noah Pasley, a senior at Highlands Ranch High, wants to support school safety but doesn't want to limit the rights of Americans, he said. Read said her daughter saw Emma Gonzalez [a survivor of the Florida shooting] speak, after the Parkland massacre and told her mother, "C'mon, we're marching, let's make our signs now".

"If some students feel compelled to do that, we're not going to make a big deal of it", he said.

"People are always a little afraid to take a stand on things like this", said Lewis. The back school parking lots also were closed off.