Pleasantville Students Participate in National Walkout for School Safety Day


Students around the country, including one West Lafayette school, left classes Friday to honor those killed in the Columbine shooting in 1999.

The rally followed earlier demonstrations around the country in response to the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"I think he said he was getting bullied and would like protection on the way here. I am marching for Breanna Bradford and I'm marching for everyone else who has lost their life to gun violence or any violence", said Edison High School Sophomore Georgia Foster.

At the walkout, students with opposing points of view were also in attendance.

Numerous students who joined demonstrations across the country Friday turned their attention to upcoming elections as they pressed for tougher gun laws and politicians who will enact them.

She was one of more than 200 students from the Salt Lake area participating in the Utah School Walkout at the state Capitol Friday.

Principal Scott Christy said in a letter to other schools in his district that April "has always been a time to respectfully remember our loss, and also support efforts to make our communities a better place".

The students chose the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre to say they're not giving up the fight for gun reform.

"We wanted this to be a moment where we could actually create real change and I wanted to educate people on current gun laws and what they can do", said Nelson.

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HeadCount, a nonprofit group that registers voters at music events, said 700 people had signed up to vote through its website during the past week.

The 11th-grader at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts carried a sign that said, "We will march until we disarm every American".

Students believe they're spreading a message in hopes of cutting down gun violence happening in schools across the country.

For the remainder of the afternoon, students had lunch, registered to vote, and had the opportunity to make speeches to their classmates, before being dismissed from school as usual. "They thought this was about taking guns away, but we don't want to do that, we just want more control to get a gun so there are less shootings". Students took the stage to issue an ultimatum to their lawmakers.

Rally organizers called for changes including bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

RHS's walkout commenced with students marching onto Tiger Hollow, holding up signs and wearing orange in solidarity, but most notably talking and laughing with one another as they walked onto the field.

"I feel it's my duty as an Alaskan student to stand up and say, here it's the worst and we need change here", said Zak Lanis, Lathrop High School.

As a group gathered with signs that said "Never Again" and "Enough", Cheryl Henderson said she asked the demonstrators she was standing with if they had heard about the shooting that happened hours earlier at a high school in Ocala, Fla. What we are doing is being heard.