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(NEW YORK) — Days after at least 19 elementary school students and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, students at schools around the country staged walkouts to protest gun violence.
In Michigan, students at Oxford High School, where a school shooting occurred in November, staged a walkout at 12 p.m. on Thursday. Four students were killed in the shooting.
Students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, also walked out of class, in support of the national gun safety movement. The school was the site of a shooting in November 2019, in which two students were killed.
Students also staged walkouts at schools in Port Washington, New York, and Falls Church, Virginia.
Student organizers say at least 600 students walked out of Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School in Port Washington earlier this afternoon.
Emma Janoff, an 11th grader at Schreiber and a member of ‘Students Demand Action’, a national organization against gun violence, says she got active on gun control policy and school safety following the 2018 Parkland High School shooting.
“You see news every day about kids getting shot and people your age dying and it’s just incredibly sad and unbelievable, especially to see like kids younger and kids my age,” Janoff told ABC News. “I cant imagine that being me; but it is imaginable because it happens so often.”
The 17 year-old says her school’s administration was in support of the walkout and she hopes the over 200 planned demonstrations across the country send a clear message that students are a “united front.”
A walkout may not necessarily change legislation, Janoff said, but these actions show “students are still united in this.”
She said that although most students aren’t old enough to vote, they still want to see change and are willing to take measures to have their voices heard in politics.
“Students don’t have to be quiet about it just because they’re a kid,” Janoff said.
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