Mass. Students Are Organizing Walkouts, Calling For Change In Gun Laws


The Women's March's Youth EMPOWER group is planning a national school walkout on March 14, a month after the Florida shooting.

What is normally a sleepy school vacation week for most students in MA has been filled with activism as students respond to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week.

"While this is a wonderful opportunity to talk with students about the movement and the long history of such events within the United States of America, our focus is on educating all students and, as a Pre K-8 school district, many of our students may not fully understand this event", read a February 21 letter from Co-Interim Superintendents Jane Westerhold and Ed Rafferty to parents and community members in North Shore School District 112. Some students who walked out of Lakewood High School in Lakewood chanted "We want change".

"We reached out to 50 or 60 students", Gessen said Wednesday.

District 113 is made up of Highland Park and Deerfield high schools.

The leader of Robeson County public schools responded Wednesday to a planned student protest to call for stricter gun control and increased mental health services with an organized event aimed at supporting the ideal of violence-free schools and communities.

For 17 minutes the students will hold a moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland Florida shooting, and also to voice their concerns about gun violence in schools.

"To our students, let us help you take action with a goal".

Just as schools were winding down for winter break, many were once again forced to confront national issues as school safety and gun control returned to the forefront. "I think we all agree that this needs to stop and something needs to be changed". If someone launched an attack in a school with a knife, one person might get hurt before police arrived, he said. "I do not feel safe at school and I want to feel safe at school".

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Federal officials have said the alleged Parkland shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, about a year ago legally purchased the AR-15 rifle he used in the attack.

Students from Big Sky High School and Washington Middle School reportedly also left class in protest.

"We've had lockdowns ever since we were in elementary school", he said.

"Now we know more and have a better understanding of government", McGee said.

Falmouth School Committee member Walter Crotty said he expects his panel to discuss it when they meet.

"We want to make some noise and make our voices heard".

Some people who were not students came out to support their march, including Missoula retiree Anne Bertsche.

"If it's just for them to get out of class and say, 'Hey, Mr. President, here we are, we're out of class, do something, ' and he does nothing, well, I've already seen the news: Kids have written to him and he hasn't answered any kind of questions they've had on, 'What are you going to do about school safety?'" Sandy Hook was the first real memory they had of a school shooting and now Parkland is on their minds.