City students join nationwide walkout to protest gun violence
By Lindsey Christ | NY1.com |
NEW YORK – Students here in the city and all over the country are taking part in a walkout from school to demand more Congressional action on gun violence.
It comes one month since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
The walkout, called #Enough, is supposed to last 17 minutes – one for each victim of the deadly school shooting.
The last citywide student walkout was in 2003 – when hundreds of students left some high schools and colleges as part of an international protest against the War in Iraq.
The Education Department under Mayor Michael Bloomberg told schools to forbid students from leaving. some principals threatened to suspend anyone who walked out.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been more supportive, saying if he was in high school, he would walk out.
The DOE has told schools that students cannot be penalized beyond a note in their attendance record.
Each school has been required to have a safety plan accommodating students who participate.
At some high schools, students coordinated with the NYPD to block off streets.
Grade school students cannot leave without a parent signing them out – so some principals are planning indoor events.
Meantime, the death penalty is now being sought by prosecutors for the teen gunman accused in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
The only other option for Nikolas Cruz was life in prison without parole.
The 19-year-old’s attorneys had said previously he would only plead guilty if the death penalty was off the table.
Cruz faces murder and attempted murder charges.