Students across South Florida stage walk-outs to protest gun laws

WESTON, FLA. (WSVN) - - Hundreds of students across a variety of schools walked out of their campuses and headed to the growing memorial at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Students could be seen marching out of multiple schools in both Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Among the campuses where the walk-outs took place were Cypress Bay High School, Tequesta Trace Middle School, Western High School among others.

Students carried signs with messages demanding lawmakers take action. At Western, students stood on the football field holding banners marking each school shooting since the Columbine Massacre.

“We need this to change,” said one student. “We need our kids to reach the ages of 90 years old. I’m unable to wrap my mind around a comprehensible reason as to why a citizen should be able to own a military assault rifle or even feel the need to. There is no reason for any person who is not fighting for their lives in a war to be handling a weapon like that.”

Most of these schools are rivals, but the shooting has made all these South Florida schools Parkland Strong.

Thousands of students from J.P. Taravella High School participated in the walk out.

“I’ve noticed that we’ve all come together because of this tragedy,” said Joel Vidaurre, Taravella High School student. “It’s been beautiful to see. It’s changed me, and it’s changed my friends as well. We’re all marching together.”

Now these students from rival schools share the same emotion. “We’re scared, and we want to make a change, and we might not change anything, but we want the guns to be put down,” said a student.

Students at North Broward Preparatory School walked out and made the trek from their school to Stoneman Douglas.

Coral Glades High School students also walked out with signs. “It could happen anywhere,” said Coral Glades student Gabrielle Bursett. ” Honestly, the reality hit me when it happened so close.”

At Coral Springs High School, students walked out onto the field and formed a heart on their football field.

Sadness and grief lingered at Broward County’s first school board meeting since the shooting.

“To my Marjory Stoneman Douglas family, and the entire Broward community, we are stricken with grief,” said School Board member Abby Freedman. “It is simply unbearable.”

Students in Miami-Dade staged walk-outs and peaceful protests as well.

Teens at Miami Edison High in Northeast Miami-Dade walked around the track in their school, holding signs showing that they not only stand in solidarity with the victims of the Parkland shooting, but with the victims of the many other mass shootings.

“We want to feel safe in our school,” said a student at one of the protests.

Hialeah High School students also put in a protest on campus. “We want to feel safe in our school,” a student said.

Others took to social media in hopes that the message would be heard nationwide.

“We need to make sure that the entire world knows that this is a problem and that this needs to be solved immediately,” said another student

Barbara Goleman High School, Coral Reef High School, Ransom Everglades and MAST Academy all saw protests on campus.

Students at Design and Architecture High School also held a 17-minute silent peaceful protest for the 17 victims.

“They come here to learn. They give it their maximum, and they need a place where they feel it’s a safe haven for them,” said DASH principal Ana Alvarez-Arimon.

Students from nearby schools who went to Stoneman Douglas hugged each other and were respectful since the memorial remains on campus.

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