Students honor Parkland victims by staying in during nationwide - WNEM TV 5

Students honor Parkland victims by staying in during nationwide walkout

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A month after the school shooting massacre at a Florida high school, students across the country took a stand by walking out of class in protest of gun violence.

They said they are not only fighting for their future, but also in honor of everyone who lost their lives to gun violence.

Students across Mid-Michigan joined the protest in a variety of ways. Some joined by walking out of class, while others stayed inside.

Emma Jones, an eighth grader at St. Pius Catholic School in Flint, was in Florida the day of the Parkland school shooting. One month later she honored the innocent lives lost.

Emma said she will never forget being so close to tragedy.

“Every store that you went into it was playing on the news and everyone was really shaken up about it. It was really sad,” Emma said.

The Parkland tragedy is just as much of an impact on her classmates.

Principal RJ Kaplan said the students banded together. They chose not to walk out of school like so many students across the country, instead they did something a little different.

“This is our way of not protesting, but coming together and remembering the lives of those people just like other schools are trying to do,” Kaplan said.

In song and in prayer, students took turns talking about love and peace during a candlelight vigil. Each lit candle signified one of the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting.

Since that day, Kaplan said St. Pius has been working closely with students and parents to hear this concerns about security.

“We’re always looking at ‘how are we doing? Where are our weak spots? Where is it hardest for us to secure kids in a safe environment?’ So, we’re continuously trying to look at new things and new trainings with teachers as well,” Kaplan said.

While Emma feels safe at her own school, she said something needs to change so kids like her never have to fear going to school ever again.

“I don’t know how other schools are about their safety so, it kind of worries me and that can happen to any school. So, it’s scary,” Emma said.

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