Students in Portland metro area protest gun violence in walkout - KPTV - FOX 12

Students in Portland metro area protest gun violence in walkout

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Thousands of students across the Portland metro area participated in a collective school walkout Wednesday morning to protest gun violence.

Wednesday, called “National Walkout Day," marked one month since the deadly shooting a high school in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed in the Valentine’s Day massacre.

Local students left their classrooms at 10 a.m. for a 17-minute walkout, honoring each shooting victim with a minute of demonstration. 

FOX 12 had reporters at three schools: McLoughlin Middle School in Vancouver, Roosevelt High School in north Portland and Reynolds High School in Troutdale.

AIR 12 also flew over several more local schools.

Students of various ages participated in the walkout, from elementary to high schools.

Governor Kate Brown joined students at Roosevelt High School.

Gov. Brown didn't speak at the rally because she wanted the focus to stay on students, but afterward, she met with several of the organizers. She picked their brains about what safety improvements they want in schools and what they would say to leaders in congress.

"They are saying that they don't feel safe in school. They feel like their rights to safety are much more important than Americans' rights to hold assault weapons. And I absolutely agree with them," said Gov. Brown. "It's pretty simple for them, they want to be able to go to school without fear."

Just last week, Gov. Brown signed the first new and tougher gun law in the U.S. since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

While most students went back to class after the walkouts, some students kept on walking down to Portland City Hall.

On Tuesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a letter of support to studentssaying he agrees - something needs to change.

As students flooded City Hall, Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz came out to listen to the students.

Mayor Wheeler told students this was their time and that he could not be more proud of them.

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