Lehigh Valley

Local students show support for National Walkout Day

Students across the country staged a national walkout on Wednesday, one month after the school shooting in Florida. For some, it was about supporting the victims. Others wanted more to be done about gun violence. 

Each of the protests that took place around the country were held at 10 a.m. and lasted 17 minutes in honor of the amount of victims who died in Parkland.

Hundreds of students at Quakertown Community High School held signs that read 'Never Again' and 'Keep Our School Safe.'

"You always see school as a safe place where there shouldn't be any violence or things like that yet everyone thinks it can't be their school but all those people thought it would never be their school," said Kayle Funk, a senior at Quakertown.

Students also held a moment of silence in memory of the 17 victims who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Quakertown Community School District Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner says he is proud of his kids.

"I think them exercising their right to free speech...that's a good thing. That's a great message," said Harner.

At Lehigh Career & Techincal Institute in Schnecksville, students dressed in red and formed the number 17 as they observed a 17-minute moment of silence. Officials there say it's unfortunate what happened in Florida and have students drill just in case something happens at LCTI.

"If you ask our kids anytime they're in the building, they're gonna tell you we feel safe coming to LCTI," said Kurt Adam, director of current technical education at LCTI. "We like it here. We feel comfortable here. It's still a challenge out there in the world today."

In Allentown, one challenge kids at William Allen High School dealt with was not being allowed to walk out without being marked tardy or absent. Instead, the school allowed students to sit in the auditorium for an assembly on gun violence. Andrea Warren of Allentown, who marched in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, demonstrated outside the high school and was sad there weren't any students alongside her.

"I'm disappointed that the students frankly knuckled under," said Warren. "I thought they would be braver than Congress frankly and take a stand because it is the kids that are evidently leading the way. This is their classmates that are being killed."

Nationally, the three things students are demanding of Congress are an assault weapons ban, universal background checks for all gun sales, and a law which would allow those who show signs of violent behavior to be disarmed.

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