San Diego Students Walk Out of Class to Protest Gun Violence After Texas School Shooting

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In the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, thousands of students from San Diego County and across the country walked out of their classrooms Thursday in protest of gun violence.

“We’re proud of our students for taking a stand," said Scott Parr, principal at Steele Canyon High.

Students at Canyon Crest Academy marched down the streets of their community.

“We were all saddened, angered, very emotional over the events in Texas," said Keala Minna-Choe, 10th grader at Canyon Crest.

“We also felt powerless,” said 11th grader Sarah Strasberg. “We felt that we couldn't do anything about this and we felt afraid to come to school because of all the stuff that has been happening, and we just wanted to show that we do have a voice and we hope legislators will listen.”

The walkouts are part of a nationwide protest against gun violence, led by the youth activist group Students Demand Action.

“I hope that a new law or just something comes out of this because a lot of the time it can get forgotten about or just nothing happens,” said Daniela De El Cortez, 10th grader at Canyon Crest.

Students carried signs that read "Schools, not Warzones" and "Protect children, not guns." The fear and frustration were clear in their faces.

“It could easily happen anywhere,” said De El Cortez. “That knowing that when I get out of that car, it could be the last time I see my mom and that's terrifying for me.”

The students hope the dozens of planned demonstrations across send a clear message.

“We can be hopeful, we have the opportunity for action,” said Minna-Choe. “The fact that we were able to organize this strike under 24 hours and we got hundreds of students here means that people across the nation, people across the world care about this issue and we can take action.”

While a walkout may not necessarily change legislation, students say it shows a united front.

Many of the students who participated in the demonstrations were wearing orange. The color is defining of the gun violence prevention movement. It has been used since 2013 after a 15-year-old was shot and killed in Chicago. Her family started the organization called Wear Orange because it's what hunters use to protect themselves from being shot by other hunters.

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