Students in Connecticut Hold Walkouts to Protest Gun Violence

Students at schools across Connecticut joined with others across the nation in holding walkouts this morning to protest gun violence, one month after the deadly shooting inside a high school in Parkland, Florida

The 17-minute protest started at 10 a.m. and honored the 17 victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.

Connecticut has been at the center of the national gun violence debate for years.

School gun violence shook the state when a gunman shot and killed 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December 2012. 

The state enacted some of the strictest gun laws in the nation after the tragic shooting and officials representing Connecticut in the nation’s capital have been at the center of the national debate on gun violence in the days, weeks, months, and now years, since that dark day. 

Students led the walkout at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy and some wore orange in a show of support against gun violence. 

School leaders in Hartford said students could walk out today without fear of disciplinary action. 

New Britain High School and the NBHS Satellite Careers Academy joined together for a school walkout today. School officials said it is not affiliated with any political viewpoints but it is a chance for students to be heard and stand with staff and community members to say school violence needs to end and school safety has to be a priority.

Students at Daniel Hand High School in Madison were asked to wear gray and red in support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, The superintendent said there was special schedule for the day that will trim a few minutes off of each period, creating an hour-long block for students to "walkout" of their classes while remaining in the building. 

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was scheduled to address the student body with a video recorded message specifically written for the Daniel Hand students.

Murphy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty announced plans to walk out of the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday to join students in the protest. 

The Connecticut Education Association coordinated an early-morning walk-in Wednesday, which included a rally before the start of the school day and participants silently walk into the building together to honor school shooting victims. Manchester High School was one school to participate in the rally.

The protests Wednesday lead up to the March for Our Lives rally for school safety in Washington, DC on March 24.

And another round of school walkouts is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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