Thousands of Kentuckiana students take part in national walkout to protest gun violence
Hundreds of thousands of students across the country took part in the ENOUGH National School Walkout Wednesday, including thousands of students from schools in Kentucky and Indiana.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hundreds of thousands of students across the country took part in the ENOUGH National School Walkout Wednesday, including thousands of students from schools in Kentucky and Indiana.
Most students walked out of class at 10 a.m. in the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February.
Students planned to stay out of class for 17 minutes -- one minute for each of the Parkland victims. The Women's March Youth claims to be the overall organizer for the event designed to prompt lawmakers to toughen gun laws.
Schools across Kentuckiana anticipated students would decide to walk out and made plans ahead of the event.
The area's largest school district, Jefferson County Public Schools, is allowing each school to decide how to deal with students that participated in the walkout.
About a thousand students at duPont Manual High School took part in the walkout.
They say it was to send an important message to lawmakers.
WDRB's Hayden Ristevski was outside the school when students began pouring out of the building at 10 a.m.
“I believe that this is something that should have never happened, and I believe that it is something that should never happen again," said Manual Student Nyah Mattison.
Some students held signs with pictures of the victims and read their names out loud.
Students spent several weeks planning for the walkout, and say they have been in contact with survivors from the Parkland shooting and wanted to do something to honor them.
“In our eyes, really, it was a way to remember the students and the faculty who lost their lives in Florida," said Manual Senior Fons Cervera. "And it's a way to raise awareness to the fact that politicians, the people that are supposed to be protecting us, are not doing their job. They are not doing anything to make sure that kids in school and faculty are not dying in schools. You’re supposed to go to feel safe and to learn, not to worry about getting shot.”
LMPD officers were positioned on both sides of the students, along with several school administrators. Security was tight, and students were only allowed to exit and enter through the front door.
Students at North Oldham High School took part in the walkout but will face discipline. Around 125 students at the high school made their way out the doors and stood in silence on the soccer field.
They stood for 19 minutes -- 17 minutes for each victim that died in the Florida school shooting, and two minutes for the victims killed in the shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky.
Students who took part say even though there could be consequences, they’re ready to see a change no matter what it takes.
One student told us administrators said students who walk out could be punished with a 30-minute detention after school or before school.
Students who did not want to walk out -- or were unable to -- stood silently in the halls.
Many students wore orange ribbons to honor the shooting victims.
All schools have different handbooks and policies to deal with students leaving school. The links to plans for some area school districts can be found below.
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