National School Walkout: Thousands of NY-area students rally

- For students across the country, this incredibly emotional day was full of passion, tears, and cries for change. They participated in school walkouts and even in after-school walkouts in an effort to push elected officials in Washington to pass meaningful gun reform.

"We will not sit in our classrooms wondering why Congress is not working as hard as we are," said Anastasia Beirne-Meyer, a Murrow High School senior. She was one of the countless students in Brooklyn and across the country to walk out of school for 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost a month ago in the massacre in Parkland, Florida.

"We want change. It could have been one of us," said Marianna Oliveri, a Murrow High student. "So it's so important for me to walk out today because we're kids. This isn't right. We want safety in our schools."

On Long Island, hundreds of students at South Side High School in Rockville Centre proudly stood outside in the cold as the victims' names were read aloud.

"I was part of a generation that changed the world when we were young in the 1960s," Rockville Centre Superintendent William Johnson said. "I just am absolutely thrilled to see that the youth of America may, in fact, make a difference when some of the adults couldn't."

But not all school district leaders in our region were thrilled.

Students at Sayreville High School in New Jersey were told that disciplinary action would be taken against those who walked out of class. That didn't stop Rosa Rodriquez—the only student to leave the building.

"They didn't want to get suspended. They didn't want to have consequences and all that stuff so they were like, 'Okay, I'm going to go inside,'" Rodriguez said. "I said I want to go outside, still showing that I care and everything like that."

School officials said Rodriguez could face up to a two-day suspension.

The twitter account for the national rifle association was active all day. The NRA tweeted that it is possible to stop gun violence and protect the Second Amendment. In a video posted by the organization, its chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, suggested better background checks, increasing security in schools, and creating more mental health treatment centers.

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