Tuesday 17 September 2019

Florida pupils walk out in support of massacre school students

Seventeen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.

Students hold a vigil in honour of those killed at the Parkland school (AP)
Students hold a vigil in honour of those killed at the Parkland school (AP)
Students hold a vigil in honour of those killed at the Parkland school (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Pupils from several Florida high schools have taken to the streets in a show of solidarity with students from a nearby school where 17 people were gunned down in their classrooms on Valentine’s Day.

Video footage taken from television news helicopter crews showed several dozen students walking out of West Boca Raton High School on Tuesday morning, apparently bound for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Parkland, where the shootings took place.

Many of the students were wearing their backpacks. The distance between the schools is about 11 miles.

Several dozen more students gathered outside Fort Lauderdale High School, holding signs bearing messages that included: “Our blood is on your hands”.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

On Monday, students at the American Heritage High School held a similar protest.

Former Stoneman student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The walkout came as two buses were preparing to take about 100 Marjory Stoneman students to Tallahassee to pressure state politicians to pass more restrictive gun laws.

Many of the students wore burgundy T-shirts in the school’s colours and carried sleeping bags, pillows and luggage as they loaded the bus for the 400-mile journey.

Alfonso Calderon, 16, said he hopes that the trip will start a conversation between the Legislature, Governor Rick Scott and the students over commonsense laws on guns.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School went to Tallahassee to campaign for action on gun violence (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

Meanwhile, actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney, are donating 500,000 dollars (£356,000) to students organising nationwide marches against gun violence, and have pledged to attend protests planned for next month.

The couple said they are inspired by the “courage and eloquence” of the survivors-turned-activists from the Parkland school. Students are mobilising for a March 24 march in Washington and other locations to urge political leaders to bring in tougher gun control.

The Clooneys said they are donating the money in the names of their eight-month-old twins, Ella and Alexander. The couple also said the family plans to “stand side by side” with students next month.

PA Media

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