Milwaukee-area students participate in National Walkout Day

NOW: Milwaukee-area students participate in National Walkout Day

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Hundreds of Rufus King High School students walked out of class and walked around the track in silence for 17 minutes.

Rufus King Walkout - Craig Machut from CBS 58 News on Vimeo.

Most of the students were dressed in black and some carried signs. Every minute, the name of a Stoneman Douglas High School victim was read.

After, students gathered in the center of the track to chant and call for action. Milwaukee Public Schools sent out of a note to parents ahead of Wednesday’s walkout saying they support students’ right to assemble and protest peacefully.

Walkout at Rufus King - Craig Machut from CBS 58 News on Vimeo.

In a news conference following the walkout, student organizers and the superintendent voiced their opposition to arming teachers.

In Whitefish Bay, dozens of students gathered on the football field at Lubar Stadium to honor the shooting victims and talk about gun control. Students needed parental permission to take part in the show of solidarity for gun reform. Their 17-minute demonstration also included reading the names of each of the 17 people killed in the massacre.

At Arrowhead, 100 high school students walked out in a large group and stayed together as they headed to their football field. They converged onto the field together and stood at the 50 yard line.

At Grafton High School, a smaller group of students gathered on the lawn, listening to readings as they participated in a time of reflection with the rest of the country.

Students at South Division High School on Lapham Boulevard in Milwaukee chanted. The school is a bilingual school and in Spanish, some students chanted “we want justice” and “no violence.” A large group of students took part in the walkout.

Waukesha School District administrators initially urged students not to participate in Wednesday’s walkout but changed course and decided to let young people exercise their right to free speech with their parents’ permission.

Skydrone 58 captured the gathering of former teachers, parents, and school children at Cutler Park.

Stoneman Douglas High School is where the movement started. A month ago, survivors ran out of the school in Parkland, Florida as a gunman opened fire killing 17 students and staff. On Wednesday, students came out in force to support the friends they lost, gathering on the football field remembering a day that will be etched in their memories forever.

The protest lasted 17 minutes, one minute for each life lost in the shooting.

Some Wisconsin lawmakers reacted to Wednesday’s walkouts.

Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin tweeted she’s been inspired by the students and young people, standing up and demanding action. She says it’s time for Congress to act on commonsense gun safety reforms.

Also saying tragic violence has no place in schools, House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted “Today the House will take concrete action to prevent this violence through the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act, which implements new training programs in our schools, updates security technology, and more.”

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