Student protests continue in wake of Parkland school shooting

Scores of students walk from Boca Raton to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Student protests are continuing this week in South Florida following the Parkland school shooting, and on Tuesday dozens of students gathered outside Fort Lauderdale High School to make their voices heard.

Students held signs with messages such as, "Our blood is on your hands," and chanted different things like, "We want change."

The students told Local 10 News that they are protesting against the National Rifle Association of America donating to political campaigns in Congress and are demanding a change to the country's gun laws.

"We need gun control. We need more security in schools," student Taylor Sueiro said.

"There's no reason children need to have bulletproof backpacks to go to school or that they should be living like they're in a prison when they're trying to get an education," Fort Lauderdale High School graduate Alexandra Robertson said. "So many kids from my school care about this issue and are willing to, you know, maybe get in trouble, maybe not be able to make up an assignment to come out here and protest and chant, lose their voices, stand in the hot sun, all day long without anything in return."

Numerous drivers honked their horns in support of the students' message.

"We have our politicians, our senators and our Congress people are accepting money -- thousands of dollars from the NRA -- for lax gun laws," student Jalen Blocker said. 

Earlier in the morning, a couple of students hopped the fence of the school to join the other students during for the protest.

One student said he skipped school to be at the protest. Another said it was considered an unexcused absence, but her parents knew and were supportive of her decision.

The school's principal admitted that she would rather the students be in the classroom, but she said she understands why they decided to hold a protest.

"It's an important civil right for our kids to be able to express themselves and I stand behind them in the sense that we need some change," Priscilla Ribeiro said. 

Three police vehicles were outside the school to control the crowd.

Meanwhile, scores of students from West Boca High School conducted a walk out and trekked 10 miles to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The walk out was part of the Never Again movement that is taking shape in schools across the U.S. -- an ever growing chorus on the need to change gun laws. 

"This event happened so close, I just want a change," junior Victoria Osorio said. "I don't want to go to school and get shot. I'm here just trying to live. I'm 17 and I'm not even out of high school yet."

Sky 10 was over the students as they made their way west on Loxahatchee Road and south on University Drive.

The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office made sure everyone was safe and an ambulance followed the students close behind. 

"It was tough, but those innocent people that lost their lives, it was nothing compared to what they went through," freshman Gabby Cordero said. 

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