Local teens plan National Student Walkouts around Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Local teens plan National Student Walkouts around Oregon

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Local students are making one thing clear: they aren’t done protesting gun violence.

On Friday, there is another National Student Walkout planned on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

In downtown Portland at City Hall, there will be students from more than 20 schools joining in a rally.

“I saw that young people could make a movement and make change, so I wanted to do that in the local community,” said Catlin Gabel sophomore Helena Khoury.

Students from schools around Portland are joining forces and preparing for their next big push for gun safety reform by making signs for Friday’s walkout.

“I didn’t expect so much action happening in Portland and so many students taking leadership. So I think it’s really exciting to see the next generation of politicians coming out,” Khoury said 

The Bus Project’s program director, Gnora Gumanow, said the organization connects with students on political issues. Gumanow said they’ve helped behind-the-scenes with Friday’s Salem rally, in particular.

“Really, this is led by students and I’m here to just make sure that the things that they don’t want to think about are thought about, right? Like that we have busses ordered, and that permission slips have been signed, and that parents have been told where their kids are going to be,” she said.

Another walkout in Portland, organized by Annika Mayne, will culminate with a workshop and speakers at Pure Space in northwest Portland. 

“It doesn’t end with a march. We want to continue having our voices heard, having our opinions listened to within our government,” said Mayne.

The Portland Public Schools deputy superintendent, Dr. Yvonne Curtis, said in a letter sent home to families that if students walk off school premises, they will receive an unexcused absence.

“You know, it’s OK. It’s not the end of the world for me at all,” said Mayne.

The teens said there is a long-term reward, which they say far outweighs a school absence.

“I think whenever you’re doing some sort of activism, it comes with a consequence. You’re making statement and willing to take the repercussion for that,” said Khoury. 

Curtis also wrote in the letter home that safety is PPS’s priority.

Depending on the number of students walking out, she says staff might accompany students as a safety precaution.

They will have a hotline set up for parents or anyone with concerns that will be fully staffed on Friday. The number is 503-916-6600.

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