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'I'm Not Going to Wait for Some Adult to Make Change'

Students around US take to streets to protest gun violence
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2018 2:01 PM CST
Students Around US Take to Streets Over Gun Violence
Millbrook High School students demonstrate against gun violence outside their school in Frederick County, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, following a school shooting in which over a dozen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., one week ago.   (Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star via AP)

(Newser) – Students who survived the shooting that left 17 dead earlier this month in Florida marched on the state capitol in Tallahassee on Wednesday to confront lawmakers and demand a ban on assault weapons, CNN reports. They were joined by thousands of students from around South Florida, some of whom marched up to 10 miles to Parkland's Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the shooting, in solidarity. "We're exhausted, but couldn't be prouder to be here," a senior from Palm Beach County says. About 100 students from Stoneman Douglas were scheduled to meet with lawmakers Wednesday. "People I know died. My friends died," survivor Daniel Bishop says. "If our government was doing something correctly, then we wouldn't be here today." Here's what else you need to know:

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  • Florida students weren't alone. The Hill reports walkouts were planned at schools around the country, including in Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Arizona.
  • In Maryland, students from three high schools marched to the US Capitol with signs reading "It's Our Right To Feel Safe In School" and "Mr. Pres. How Many More Kids Will Die?" despite objections from at least one principal, Fox 5 reports.
  • Back in Tallahassee, Stoneman Douglas survivor Lorenzo Prado shared his story of being mistaken for the gunman when SWAT stormed the school. "I thought they were here to rescue me," HuffPost quotes him as saying. "I find out that I was wrong. I found out that they thought it was me that killed the 17 people." He says he's demanding change to keep those 17 lives from having been "lost in vain."
  • "We need to show lawmakers that if they keep being complacent about gun violence, they’re not going to be re-elected," USA Today quotes Sarah Leitch as saying. The Jacksonville senior was one of hundreds of Florida students rallying in Tallahassee.

  • Students at Kentucky's Simon Kenton High School walked out Wednesday for 17 minutes—one minute for every victim of the Parkland shooting, the Enquirer reports. They marched around the school chanting "never again" and "we want change."
  • The Press Herald reports students from at least five high schools in Maine are planning to join a national 17-minute walkout planned for March 14. “I want change now,” one 14-year-old freshman says. “I’m not going to wait for it. I’m not going to wait for some adult to make change.”
  • But the superintendent of Wisconsin's Waukesha School District says any student or staff member who participates in the March 14 protest could face punishment for being disruptive, according to the Journal Sentinel. "Participation in a walkout is disruptive and against school regulations and will subject students to disciplinary measures," Todd Gray says.
  • He was joined by the superintendent of the Needville School District in Texas, who says any student walking out of school to protest gun violence will be hit with a three-day suspension, the Houston Chronicle reports. "Life is all about choices, and every choice has a consequence," Curtis Rhodes says. "We will discipline no matter if it is one, 50, or 500 students involved."
(Read more Parkland school shooting stories.)

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