NJ students stage school walkout in support of Florida shooting victims

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STAFFORD TOWNSHIP -

Students at several schools in New Jersey staged walkouts Wednesday in a show of solidarity for the victims of the Florida high school shooting.

"No kid should have to fear going to school. That's the sad part, and if the adults aren't going to do something about it then it's time the future generation stands up and says ‘This is what we want and if you're not going to give it to us then we're going to do it ourselves,’" said Southern Regional High School student Laura Esposito.

Students at Southern Regional High walked out of school at noon Wednesday and held a short, peaceful but strong protest regarding gun violence in schools. They also remembered the 17 people killed last week at a high school in southern Florida.

RELATED: Students across US stage walkouts to protest gun violence
RELATED: Angry teens swarm into Florida Capitol demand new gun laws

“The captain of the swim team, the Junior ROTC kid who held the door open, those are my people, and it just made me realize that this could be me,” Esposito says.

While the high school walkout was happening, middle-schoolers across the street also participated.

“Seeing them over, I started crying,” said high school student Kyra Zdep.”It's a very great thing when you have more than one school participating, getting together and all that. It was a great thing to see."

Southern Regional High School officials said that they were supportive of the rally and the students’ passion.

“I talked to them this morning about [how] it's easy to yell and this is the first shout, but going forward, how do you sustain the momentum about such an important project?” said chief school administrator Craig Henry.

Sen. Bob Menendez also expressed support and tweeted, “So proud of students in NJ and across the US for taking a stand against gun violence. I am listening. I hear you.”

The walkout comes as Florida students rally at the state’s Capitol calling for change to national gun laws and calling for great safety at schools.

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