Thousands of NJ students to stage walkout to remember Parkland victims

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TEANECK -

Thousands of students at schools across New Jersey will be taking part in a nationwide school walkout as a part of the #NeverAgain movement.

Students who spoke with News 12 New Jersey say that the walkout is being touted as part memorial for victims of school shootings, part rally and part protest against gun violence.

The walkout is scheduled for Wednesday and was organized in response to the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.

RELATED: Student walkouts planned across US to protest gun violence

"There’s been way too many shootings and there hasn't been any change. We want to be that change,” says Teaneck High School student Gabriella Parra.

Parra is president of the Teaneck High School Activism Club and helped organize the school’s walkout plans. Parra and her friends spent Tuesday after school making posters and finalizing the plans.

“We want to send the message that students have a lot of power and we need to be heard, as well as politicians need to get their stuff together,” Parra says.

The students are also calling for stricter gun background checks and raising the age to purchase firearms to 21. They also says so-called assault weapons should be harder to acquire. They also would like to see great health care for people with mental illnesses.

Teaneck High School is not the only school in the Garden State participating in Wednesday’s walkout. News 12 New Jersey has received word from dozens of schools whose students plan on participating.

Most of the walkouts will begin at 10 a.m. and last for 17 minutes – to mark the 17 people who lost their loves in Parkland. Some other students will spend more time out of class, like Teaneck High School, where they are planning a memorial, rally and a march to city hall.

“Even though we are young, we are the future and we are going to put an end to this injustice,” says student Clarke Johnson.

Some school districts are helping the students by cosponsoring the walkouts, while others schools have threatened disciplinary action against students who leave. Many municipalities are offering police assistance, in case students leave school property.

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