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Minnesota Students Take A Stand Against Gun Violence

March 14, 2018 - 4:08 pm

Students at a Minneapolis high school joined their counterparts across Minnesota and around the country in a walkout to take a stand against gun violence.

The walkout happened at 10 a.m. Wednesday and comes one month following the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Some of the demonstrations lasted 17 minutes - one minute for each of the 17 students and staff members killed in Florida.

At Washburn High School in Minneapolis, students filed out of the building with some carrying signs which read "We Want Change" and "Students Stand Up." In St. Paul, Mayor Melvin Carter joined students at Harding High School after they walked out to demonstrate.

“I’m really just here supporting these students, and standing behind them” Carter said.

High schools across the state were expected to participate in the national movement. Walkouts were also planned at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall and University of Minnesota Duluth.

In other parts of the country, schools threatened to suspend students that walked out.  One student in New Jersey got a lot of attention for leaving anyway.  Rosa Rodriguez walked out of Sayreville High School risking suspension while other students attended a gathering in the school auditorium.

Parent Nancy Dias said even her 6th grade son wanted to protest, but was told he couldn’t, even if parents are there to chaperone them.

“That way our kids are safe, that way they still get the opportunity to be engaged, ask questions. And the school district sent me an email saying ‘thank you, they would not even entertain that.’ It’s very disheartening,” she said.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.