Local students keep quiet to speak out

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An estimated 130 students from Alamogordo High School, Academy Del Sol, Chaparral and Holloman Middle schools peacefully participated in the National Student Walkout Wednesday morning.

The Associated Press reports that more than 2,000 high-school age protesters observed 17 minutes of silence while sitting on the ground with their backs turned to the White House on Wednesday as part of the national event.

The Philadelphia Student Union, Juntos, and other Philadelphia organizations organized a student march following the national #Enough Walkouts.

"But seeing the students finally rise up and getting their voice heard was incredible and that's why I think it's so important to participate in this walkout". After 17 people, including students as young as 14, were killed at Parkland, students there vowed to change laws and push adults to do something to prevent further mass shootings. "And he just let me go".

Chrusciel said it is incredible to be a part of a movement widespread. "I feel like America has updated, so I feel like our Second Amendment should be updated". But many were anxious about getting in trouble.

"We all agree this is something we will take the fall for, because it's something we're all very passionate about", said Clara Welch, a junior at North Oldham High School.

She is 16 and planning to vote as soon as she can.

The students stood in silence for 19 minutes. But she said if her daughter didn't get that chance on Wednesday, then it's her right to speak up.

"I want to make sure that kids not only know how to walk out into the streets and have their voices be heard, but that they know how to pick up their phone and call their representative, and convert that passion and that outrage into concrete political action", said Zoe Davidson, co-founder of Coalition Z.

"Regardless of how old we are, we have a voice", Diaz said. "The kids that were there actually wanted to be".

In front of the main entrance to Highlands Ranch High School stood about 100 students.

"We definitely underestimate teenagers", she said. Following the protest, about a dozen Oxford Hills students gathered with police officers and administrators to talk about how to make their school safer. "Somebody shot up a place where people went to hang out with their friends, people went to learn". She says the youth today are sending a message to Republican leadership in Arizona that if they don't start listening, they'll be replaced.

"I don't think this is a protest".

Chrusciel hopes that the demonstrations across the country will lead to change.

"Yes, I'm afraid", Dudgeon, 17, said. Fellow senior and protest organizer Louis Catania, foreground, holds a sign that reads "Thoughts and Prayers (crossed out) - Policy and Change".

"It was scary past year when we thought we actually had a shooter on campus and we all had to go on lockdown and we didn't know for at least 20 minutes if there was an actual shooter". "We're not giving up that easily".

The New Yorker was born three years after the Columbine High School shooting, in which 13 were killed.

Hayes students brought signs to the event showing their support for the Parkland victims and calling for an end to school shootings.

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