Massachusetts students walk out of class, demand action on gun violence

CAMBRIDGE, MA (WHDH) — Students in several Massachusetts towns and cities on Thursday walked out of class to demand stricter gun laws.

A national walkout was held Wednesday, but due to a snow day, many local schools were unable to participate. The walkout comes as a show of political solidarity after 17 students were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.

Walpole, Scituate, Beverley, Cambridge and Arlington were just a few of the high schools to remember the lives lost and join the nationwide movement to create change.

Holding up signs bearing the pictures of those killed in Parkland, students at Cambridge Ringe and Latin walked out and rallied.

“In a country where there are so many gun deaths, the focus should be on reducing them by making harsher gun laws,” student Sophie Harrington said.

In Walpole, students walked out for 17 minutes, spending one minute to honor each victim.

In Arlington, a banner that said “Never Again” was hung from the front of the high school. Students at the school say they wanted to sustain the momentum of the movement.

“We still want change. It doesn’t stop with the national walkout. It continues everyday afterwards,” Laura Kirchner said. “They haven’t changed since Columbine. They haven’t changed since Sandy Hook.”

Voicing anger with legislators over the lack of gun control, students said their voice should not be pushed aside because they’re too young.

In Scituate, the names of the 17 Parkland victims were read out loud. Students left class, gathered together and held a 17-minute moment of silence.

“I was scared that someone was going to come after me,” Ryan Frankel said. “I think everyone should be able to have the right, no matter age, to go out and show how they feel about this.”

Frankel, who moved to Scituate in August, was in middle school and about 20 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary School when the shooting unfolded in 2012.

Students hope elected officials will take action on three things: ban on assault weapons; require universal background checks before gun sales; pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.

On Wednesday, students gathered at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston, calling on lawmakers to do something before another school falls victim to gun violence.

In a march across Boston Common, students chanted “enough is enough” before rallying in front of lawmakers.

Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but some students said more can be done both at the national level and the state level.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)