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Brooklyn students to walk out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence

#Enough! BP Adams backs National School Walkout

March 9, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hundreds of students across Brooklyn will be walking out of school at 10 a.m. Wednesday to protest gun violence. Shown: A returning student reacts as he walks to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 28, as classes resumed for the first time since students and teachers were gunned down in a February massacre. Photo by Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
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Enough is enough: Students at roughly two dozen schools in Brooklyn are joining the National School Walkout planned for this Wednesday, March 14, the one-month anniversary of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The 10 a.m., 17-minute walkout honors the 17 lives lost during the latest school massacre. Hundreds of thousands of students across the country are walking out to urge Congress to take action and pass federal gun reform legislation.

In Brooklyn, students from both public and private elementary, middle and high schools will be marching, as well as students from Brooklyn Law School.

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At 2 p.m. that same day, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will hold an after-school rally in the Prospect Park Bandshell. Adams said in a release that students will call and write legislators, learn how to “speak truth to power,” and build a Students’ Bill of Rights.

Leigh Conner, and eighth-grade teacher at Unity Prep Middle School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, told the Brooklyn Eagle, “Our eighth-grade students just finished a month-long unit on gun violence and gun control and felt especially passionate about joining the National Walkout.” Conner added, “Students and teachers have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.”

Connor said that given the school’s mission of “empowering students as both scholars and citizens, it was important for us to give the students this opportunity to speak up for themselves and have this opportunity to be leaders for a cause they value.”

Students from Packer Collegiate Institute and other private schools in the Downtown area will gather in Columbus Park at Borough Hall to speak out on gun violence and what they can do to change government policies.

“We, the students of The Packer Collegiate Institute, have decided that this moment is too crucial and this issue too urgent to stand idly by,” organizers, including Aliana Acevedo, Drew Myers, Sarah DeSouza and Savannah Phillips-Falk, said in a statement last Monday.

The students stress they will be walking out “for all people who have experienced gun violence, including systemic forms of gun violence that disproportionately impact teens in black and brown communities.” Gun violence includes “the impact of police brutality and militarized policing,” the Packer students said.

As of Friday, schools participating in the #Enough National School Walkout include:

P.S. 8 (Robert Fulton) School, Brooklyn Technical High School, M.S. 51 William Alexander Middle School, P.S. 282 Park Slope, Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women, P.S. 321 William Penn School, Millennium Brooklyn High School, Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School, Homeschool community at Brooklyn Apple Academy, Unity Preparatory Middle and High School, Sunset Park Prep (M.S. 821), Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, M.S. 839, Crispus Atuucks Elementary School P.S.21, High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow, Brooklyn College, Midwood High School, Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn Law School and others.

More than 50 schools across the city are participating in the National Walkout. High schoolers have also announced plans for an “Evening of Action,” where youth will lobby officials and the private sector, hear from political leaders and activists, and strategize about sustaining the student-led gun movement. The event, organized by the student group Coalition Z, takes place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Quakers’ 15th Street Meetinghouse.

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