CT students join national school walkout against gun violence

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Across the nation, and here in Connecticut, thousands of students walked out of class Wednesday morning as part of the “National School Walkout Against Gun Violence.”

New Haven’s Cooperative Arts and Humanities School and the Sound School were two of many places where students and teachers marched out of the building on Wednesday morning. It’s a nationwide protest against the kind of gun violence we saw a month ago at a high school in Florida.

Related: Students across Connecticut protest gun violence

“This could have been us. It could have been anyone,” said Sound School student Dylan Ramarttan. “It happened in Newtown, Columbine, and it happens every day, you just don’t hear about it.”

The shooting one month ago at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida left 17 students and educators dead. Students who survived that shooting basically created a new anti-gun violence movement. They have been going on the news, they have been going to their local governments.

Related content: Everything to know about the National School Walkout on March 14

They have been so visible, and that shooting was so terrible, the feeling has spread to students in many other states. Since they are in high school, they are old enough to remember the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. After that, there was an attempt at federal gun reform, but it did not work.

At New Haven’s Sound School, they read poetry written by students at Stoneman Douglas, students tired and scared of inaction by adults.

“That’s why we’ve started a lot of these peaceful protests and all of that because they’re tired of not seeing anything done and losing their friends to it,” said Sound School student Elizabeth Fontana.

Wheeler High in North Stonington was one of many schools opting for a walk-in. Students gathered together inside the school to share their feelings about gun violence.

“It shouldn’t happen to anybody, but kids especially, where you think it’s the most important place, most safest place to be is a school,” said Wheeler high junior Richard Pesante.

Related content: 7,000 children’s shoes laid out on Capitol lawn to honor lives lost to gun violence

Again and again, however, shootings proved that school is not the safest place. Previous attempts at reforming federal gun legislation have failed. Today’s high school students believe it will be different this time.

“The youth, us, students across the country are going to step up to the charge where the adults have failed,” Ramarttan said.

Some of the adults reminded students that speaking out is important, but there is something that might be even more effective. Anyone who turns 18 before November 6th can register to vote in this year’s election.

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