St. Louis-area students participate in nationwide walkout protes - KMOV.com

St. Louis-area students participate in nationwide walkout protesting gun violence

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Hazelwood West students embrace each other in tears during walkout. (Credit: KMOV) Hazelwood West students embrace each other in tears during walkout. (Credit: KMOV)
A group of high schoolers at Affton Schools is silently sitting in the front lawn as part of the Wednesday's national walk out. (Credit: KMOV) A group of high schoolers at Affton Schools is silently sitting in the front lawn as part of the Wednesday's national walk out. (Credit: KMOV)
Hazelwood West students participate in nationwide walkout protesting gun violence. (Credit: KMOV) Hazelwood West students participate in nationwide walkout protesting gun violence. (Credit: KMOV)
FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A number of St. Louis area students are participating in a local walkout to protest gun violence in schools after the Parkland, Florida shooting. 

Protests began at 10 a.m. at schools including Bishop-DuBourg High School, Parkway Central High School, Hazelwood District High School, Webster Groves High School, Maplewood-Richmond Heights school, Mallinckrodt elementary school, Fox High School, and others. 

St. Charles Police Department is conducting extra patrols Wednesday through St. Charles City to focus around schools conducting organized walk-outs to address violence in schools. 

At Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School, about 100 students and staff members walked off campus  to Grand Avenue and lined both sides of the sidewalk near the Fox Theatre around 9:30 a.m. The students were be joined by the father of a 2013 graduate who has lost two sons to gun violence.

"When you see these kids marching out here today, take it seriously because they are marching for something," said Ronnie Robinson. Robinson was a former school volunteer, and lost two children to gun violence. 

Students also spoke, including senior Lindsay Cooper, whose father was killed in 2016.

"The pain I felt with that, the pain I still feel with that I can't even put it in words. It's indescribable. Oh my gosh it's the worst pain ever. I wouldn't wish that on anybody," Cooper said. 

New 4 was at the scene where a group of high schoolers at the Affton School District silently walked out and is sitting in the front lawn as part of Wednesday's protest.

Student leaders at Hazelwood West and Hazelwood Central High School shared their thoughts on the football field. 


Watch: North Clay High School Student Maddie McKinney is suggesting that students Walk Up instead of Walk Out. 


The youth wing of the Women's March, Empower urged students to walkout of class at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. One minute for each victim in the Florida shooting. The walkout is apart of demanding lawmakers to ban assault weapons and conduct back ground checks for nationwide gun sales. 

Walk-outs were planned at schools nationwide to mark the one month anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. In the St. Louis area administrators are torn between supporting their students and enforcing school policy.

The Hazelwood School District is one that’s taken the approach that they want to make the walk-out a teachable moment, and they’ve let students lead the way with the planning. 

Hazelwood Central High School principal Dr. Derrick Mitchell told News 4, “What we want most is to show the people in Florida that we’re supporting them and our students stand behind them 100 percent. And again, the first amendment, we really want to show the world how we are supposed to do peaceful protest.”

At Hazelwood East and West high schools, students marched out to the football field and observe 17 minutes of silence in honor of the 17 students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Central High School will hold a time of remembrance in the afternoon which will include the reading of the victims’ names and the tolling of a bell for each. 

“So I think this is going to be a very good memorial service we have tomorrow, a very good peaceful protest,” said Hazelwood Central senior Jaedon Deskins.

An alternative movement happening Wednesday is encouraging students to ‘walk up’ instead of walking out. The movement asks students to walk up to someone different and have a conversation or walk up to a teacher to thank them. Some people on social media are challenging children to walk up to 14 students and three adults as a way to honor those who died in Florida.

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