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Local students plan Friday walkout to demand stricter gun laws

WASHINGTON — For the second time in as many months, students in schools across the D.C. region plan to walk out of class as a form of protest as they call for tougher gun laws.

Walkouts are scheduled for Friday, marking the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School that left 13 dead.

“Students will walk out of class and protest,” organizers said in a statement. “Together, we will send a message that we won’t tolerate any more inaction on this issue.”

According to organizers, students from D.C., Maryland and Virginia will hold a vigil outside the White House Friday morning, observing 19 minutes of silence to honor “all those killed by gun violence in the 19 years” since Columbine.

After the vigil, they plan to march to the U.S. Capitol building for a gun control rally.

It is not clear how many students plan to participate. In many cases, they risk having unexcused absences on their records if they decide to leave school.

Organizers include the groups National School Walkout DC, Students Demand Action DMV and Montgomery County Students for Gun Control.

“This event seeks to bring together students throughout the region in pursuing legislation to end the gun violence epidemic plaguing our country,” organizers said.

Mass walkouts happened around D.C. and around the country March 14 in response to the massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.

Thousands of local students left their classes for a vigil outside the White House and a rally on Capitol Hill.

Former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of taking an assault-style rifle to the school and opening fire on students, teachers and staff on Feb. 14.

Since the shooting, students from the Parkland, Florida, school anchored a massive rally against gun violence in Washington on March 24, and throngs of young people took part in sister marches around the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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