Ocean County students rally in support of Florida shooting victims

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A group of Ocean County students spent their Presidents Day vacation rallying for safer schools and gun control.

Students from various Toms River schools as well as Central Regional High School in Berkeley Township gathered, calling for change in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The rally was organized by Toms River North High School student Zach Dougherty.

“I contacted David Hogg, who is a student from Parkland, and I asked what can we do and immediately he responded and said, ‘Organize.’"

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Those involved in Monday’s rally called for tougher gun control legislation in Washington and to vote out any local elected official who is not in favor of tougher gun laws.

“I think when you see the same people on social media and people in your community bringing the same argument that this isn't a problem and shouldn't be talked about right now, I think that drives you to want to talk about it and want to be involved,” Dougherty says.

Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America were also in attendance. One of the group’s local leaders says that she thinks that change will soon come because of these young adults.

“Something about this one is different and I think it's the fact that these students were in high school and they have voices and they are learning to use those voices,” says Theresa Turner.

Students at the rally tell News 12 that they want to let everyone know that they do not feel comfortable in school right now due to the recent shootings. They say that they should be more focused on classes and applying to college than looking over their shoulders for potential threats.

The students say that their fight will continue and they plan to continue to rally as other events and marches are organized.

Parkland survivors have already announced plans for a nationwide gun control rally on March 24.

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