STUDENT WALKOUT: Kentucky students rally in cold at Capitol

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3:50 p.m.

Hundreds of Kentucky high school students joined a nationwide gun violence protest by traveling to the state Capitol for a rally in frigid weather.

The rally in Frankfort included a group of students from Marshall County High School, the site of a deadly school shooting in January. The students got a pass Wednesday to leave school and travel more than three hours to the Capitol.

Marshall County student Cameron King urged the demonstrators to "keep screaming, keep yelling, keep fighting until you make a change, because we are the change." King recalled fleeing the school during the Jan. 23 shooting and hiding at a car dealership.

Students huddled near the front entrance, chanting and carrying signs that said "Never Again" and "Books Not Bullets."

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3:25 p.m.

South Carolina's largest school district says it's going to reprimand several hundred students who participated in a national walkout to protest gun violence at schools.

Greenville County Schools spokeswoman Beth Brotherton said Wednesday that students who participated in the walkout will be cited for cutting class. She said school records show that about 530 students participated at about a dozen high schools.

The high schools with the most participation were J.L. Mann Academy in Greenville, with about 200 students walking out; and Maudlin High School with about 180. Overall, the district has about 77,000 students.

District officials had said before the walkout that they were discouraging students from participating and didn't plan to allow news media to cover the activity.

Around the country, school administrators have taken varying stances toward the walkouts that were launched in the aftermath of a deadly rampage at a Florida high school last month that killed 17 people.

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3:05 p.m.

Up to 300 students in Lawrence, Kansas, joined the nationwide walkout against gun violence, while some of their parents formed a symbolic protective ring around the school.

Sophomore Elliot Bradley read the names of the 17 people killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and said the protesters wanted legislative change.

About 200 adults joined in a "Wrap the Walkout," which urged adults to "wrap" themselves around the school to show support for the students.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the school district said students who participated would be excused.

In Topeka, about 1,000 students from Topeka High School joined the walkout and marched three blocks to the Kansas Statehouse to participate in a rally coordinated by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

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2:40 p.m.

About 50 protesters supported student walkouts by gathering at the field office of a North Carolina senator to decry his connection to the National Rifle Association.

The protesters braved chilly temperatures and gusty winds outside U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's office in Winston-Salem on Wednesday. Across the nation, young people walked out of classes to demand action on gun violence.

According to watchdog group The Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has spent nearly $7 million to support Burr's campaigns over his career.

Protesters held signs saying "Books Not Bullets" and "Is 7 Million Dollars Worth 17 People's Lives?"

Some motorists honked their car horns in support. One driver told the group to protest opioids because guns don't kill, drugs do. One protester responded, "They both do.!"

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

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2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.

In Las Vegas, home to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, more than 350 students left classes as part of a nationwide school walkout and rallied on the steps of the city's oldest high school with signs reading "Enough is Enough" and chants like "NRA, stay away."

Tanya Abarico, a Las Vegas Academy of the Arts junior, noted the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas and said students want policies and reform, not thoughts and prayers.

Student body President Darian Fluker invoked shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012 and the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. She calls the walkouts a march for student lives.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

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1:45 p.m.

The National Rifle Association has sent out a defiant tweet that included a picture of an assault-style rifle and a comment saying: "I'll control my own guns, thank you."

The tweet was posted Wednesday morning as students around the country staged school walkouts to protest gun violence. The NRA has come under increased criticism since last month's shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. The gunman in that shooting used an AR-15 assault rifle.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

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1:15 p.m.

Students at Columbine High School in Colorado are participating in the nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence.

About 250 students left school and gathered on a soccer field next to the building Wednesday.

They held red, white and blue balloons and released them as they read the names of the 17 people killed last month at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the worst high school shooting since the 1999 massacre at Columbine.

The names of the 13 people killed at Columbine were also read before the students observed a moment of silence.

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1:15 p.m.

An Arizona legislator who survived a mass shooting in which then-Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords was critically wounded is saluting students participating in nationwide school walkouts over gun violence.

State Rep. Daniel Hernandez said in a Twitter post Wednesday that he stands "in solidarity with all of the young people walking to demand action on gun violence."

Hernandez also said in his Twitter post that he's reminded now that young people aren't just the future but also what he called "vital voices NOW."

The Tucson Democrat was an intern for Giffords in 2011 when he helped her immediately after she was shot in the head at a constituent event in the Tucson area.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.

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12:50 p.m.

Hundreds of students from the Washington area are rallying at the Capitol to urge stricter gun control laws.

The rally was part of a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence following the massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school last month.

Fifteen-year-old Chloe Appel of Gaithersburg, Maryland, held a sign that said, "Fix this before I text my mom from under a desk."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers addressed the crowd. The biggest applause by far was for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Students chanted his name and nearly drowned out his speech.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.

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12:50 p.m.

In northwestern New Mexico, where two students were gunned down by an armed intruder at their high school in December, hundreds of their classmates gathered at the Aztec High flag pole for a "walk-up" rather than a walkout.

The student council had asked school administrators for time in their schedule Wednesday so they could honor the 21 students who've been killed in school shootings in recent months —including their two classmates — and to talk about 21 pledges they can take to make their campus safer and to get involved.

Principal Warman Hall said the students wanted to feel empowered but didn't want a contentious political debate or demonstration.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.

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12:50 p.m.

A student at Kell High School outside Atlanta says the principal there had threatened students with discipline and said they could be in danger since the time of the nationwide protest was widely known and someone could try to harm them outside the school.

Freshman Kirsten Martin said students were scared of the potential punishment, so at 10 a.m. "we just carried on like it's a normal day."

Despite the threat, three students at the Marietta, Georgia, school walked out for the 17 minutes of the protest and then went back inside.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.

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12 p.m.

A nor'easter that dropped 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow in some places in the Northeast closed many Massachusetts schools Wednesday, thwarting plans to participate in a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence.

But students were still taking action. Hundreds of them gathered at a Boston church before a planned march to the statehouse, where they planned to lobby lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at stemming gun violence.

Esmay Price Jones, a Somerville High School freshman, said Parkland, Florida, students started a movement she's hopeful will result in meaningful change.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.

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12 p.m.

At some schools, students didn't walk outside, but instead lined the hallways, standing in silence and wearing the school colors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which was the site of last month's mass shooting that killed 17 people.

Others gathered in school gyms and auditorium.

In Goshen, Indiana, student's formed a heart on the football field. In Yarmouth, Maine, students walked out despite freezing temperatures and snow.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Florida.

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11:30 a.m.

In Washington, more than 2,000 high-school age protesters observed 17 minutes of silence outside the White House as part of a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence.

An organizer counted down the seconds until 10 a.m. and the protesters spent the 17 minutes sitting on the ground with their backs turned to the White House as a nearby church bell chimed.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

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11:05 a.m.

Some students at an Ohio high school that had a shooting last year joined the nationwide student walkouts to protest gun violence, despite being warned they could face detention or more serious discipline.

The Springfield News-Sun reports about 10 students exited West Liberty-Salem High School as a group of supporters across the street cheered Wednesday.

Superintendent Kraig Hissong says campus isn't the place for political demonstrations and it's not in the district's interest to endorse political movements.

Students at Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia, were also warned against participating in the nationwide walkout. Police even patrolled outside the school. Nonetheless, three students walked out for the 17 minutes of the protest and then went back inside.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

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10:45 a.m.

Amid a nationwide school walkout, students at the school where a gunman killed 17 people gathered on the campus football field one month after the shooting to protest gun violence.

The group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students shouted "MSD! MSD!" and engaged in a group hug Wednesday morning.

The high school students rallied to continue putting pressure on federal lawmakers to enact gun control legislation. The rally comes less than a week after Florida Gov. Rick Scott cited the students' actions in signing a bill that placed new restrictions on guns.

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10:35 a.m.

Police outside Atlanta patrolled Kell High School, where students were threatened with unspecified consequences if they participated in the nationwide walkout to protest gun violence.

A British couple walking their dogs went to the school to try to encourage students, but they were threatened with arrest by police officers if they didn't leave the campus in Marietta, Georgia.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

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10:35 a.m.

Hundreds of students at Parkland High School, outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, walked out of class and headed to the auditorium for a rally dubbed #parklandforparkland.

That school and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, share more than a name.

Stoneman Douglass freshman Daniel Duff, who survived the shooting by hiding in a closet but lost seven of his friends, is the cousin of Collin and Kyleigh Duff, who are brother and sister and go to Parkland High in Pennsylvania.

The Duff siblings have been selling #parklandforparkland bracelets, raising more than $10,000 for the Florida shooting victims, and Daniel Duff described what it was like to live through the shooting in a video that was shown at the rally.

Parkland High students called for stricter gun laws, read short biographies of each of the 17 shooting victims of last month's shooting and observed a moment of silence at 10 a.m.

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10:25 a.m.

Viacom is suspending all programming on its networks for 17 minutes as students across the nation walk out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence.

The suspension coincides with the National School Walkout, which started at 10 a.m. The company's networks include MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, among others.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

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10:25 a.m.

At East Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina, students were holding a session discussing gun violence in addition to joining students around the country in a walkout.

The students were wearing orange T-shirts emblazoned with an outline of the state and "#enough."

Senior Talia Pomp was handing out the shirts. She said she was working to prevent a repeat of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that killed 17 people.

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10:25 a.m.

A superintendent says students at an Ohio high school that had a shooting last year could face school detention or more serious discipline for leaving class to protest gun violence in conjunction with nationwide student walkouts Wednesday.

West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong tells the Springfield News-Sun that campus isn't the place for political demonstrations. Officials there warned students they could face consequences for walking out, but some teens say that didn't deter them.

The walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that's emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

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10:15 a.m.

Students were pouring out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as part of the nationwide school walkout against gun violence.

The school was the site of a shooting last month that killed 17 people and spurred a protest movement calling for tighter gun control and stronger school safety.

The students walked out at 10 a.m. and planned to stay out for 17 minutes, one for each victim of the shooting.

In an online livestream, David Hogg, a senior at the school who's become one of the public faces of protests against gun violence, criticized politicians for not doing more as he walked amid a mass of people.

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10:05 a.m.

In Washington, thousands of students gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, holding colorful signs and cheering in support of gun control.

The Wednesday morning demonstration comes as students around the country stage walkouts to protest gun violence in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

The students in front of the White House chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho. The NRA has got to go!" and "What do we want? Gun control! When do we want it? Now!"

Trump was traveling in Los Angeles and was not in the White House during the demonstrations.

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10 a.m.

At schools across the country Wednesday, students have begun a walkout to protest gun violence.

It's the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that's emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month.

The protests have drawn mixed reactions from school administrators. While some applaud students for taking a stand, others threatened discipline.

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1 a.m.

From Maine to Hawaii, students planned to walk out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence in the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged in response to last month's massacre of 17 people at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In nearly 3,000 protests nationwide, students from the elementary to college level are taking up the call in a variety of ways. Some planned roadside rallies to honor shooting victims and protest violence. Others were to hold demonstrations in school gyms or on football fields. In Massachusetts and Georgia and Ohio, students said they'll head to the statehouse to lobby for new gun regulations.

The coordinated walkouts were loosely organized by Empower, the youth wing of the Women's March, which brought thousands to Washington, D.C., last year. The group urged students to leave class at 10 a.m. local time for 17 minutes — one minute for each victim in the Florida shooting -- and suggested demands for lawmakers, including an assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun sales.

"Our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence," the group said on its website.

But each community was urged to shape its own protests, and while parents and teachers in many districts worked together to organize age-appropriate activities, school administrators had mixed reactions. Some have applauded students for taking a stand, while others threatened discipline.

Districts in Sayreville, New Jersey, and Maryland's Harford County drew criticism this week when they said students could face punishment for leaving class. In Pensacola, Florida, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas ordered up an in-school assembly instead. He warned students that they could discuss voting and mental health issues, but not guns, and saying that political banners would not be allowed.

"You can't make political statements, it can't be a pro-gun or anti-gun assembly," Thomas told the Pensacola News-Journal.

Free speech advocates geared up for battles.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued advice for students, saying schools can't legally punish them more harshly because of the political nature of their message. In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas, some lawyers said they will provide free legal help to students who are punished. The ACLU of Georgia's guidance letters to districts said "The United States Supreme Court has long held that students do not 'shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate'."

This nationwide action is one of several protests planned for coming weeks. The March for Our Lives rally for school safety is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the nation's capital on March 24, its organizers said. And another round of school walkouts is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.

After the walkout Wednesday, some students in Massachusetts say they plan to rally outside the Springfield headquarters of Smith & Wesson, where students and religious leaders are expected to call on the gun maker to help reduce gun violence.

At Case Elementary School in Akron, Ohio, a group of fifth-graders organized a walkout with the help of teachers after seeing parallels in a video they watched about youth marches for civil rights in 1963. Case instructors said 150 or more students will line a sidewalk along a nearby road, carrying posters with the names of Parkland victims.

The walkouts have drawn support from companies including media conglomerate Viacom, which said it will pause programming on MTV, BET and all its other networks for 17 minutes during the walkouts, and allow students to temporarily take over MTV's social media accounts.

In suburban Atlanta, one of Georgia's largest school systems announced that students who participate might face unspecified consequences.

But some vowed to walk out anyway, understanding that accepting punishments is part of what can make civil disobedience powerful.

"Change never happens without backlash," said Kara Litwin, a senior at Pope High School in the Cobb County School District.

The possibility of being suspended "is overwhelming, and I understand that it's scary for a lot of students," said Lian Kleinman, a junior at Pope High. "For me personally this is something I believe in, this is something I will go to the ends of the Earth for."

Other schools sought a middle ground, offering "teach-ins" or group discussions on gun violence and working to keep things safe. Officials at Boston Public Schools said they arranged a day of observance Wednesday with a variety of activities "to provide healthy and safe opportunities for students to express their views, feelings and concerns." Students who don't want to participate could bring a note from a parent to opt out.





 
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