Students at Ridgewood HS participate in nationwide school walkout to call for gun reform

Students across the country walked out of their classrooms on Thursday to demand change following a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas earlier this week.
One such school district was Ridgewood, where students peacefully walked out of school Thursday morning.
“Enough is enough. The time is now to pass real, lasting legislation that will prevent horrific incidents like what happened Tuesday from occurring,” says Ridgewood High School senior Zoe Kovac.
Kovac was one of the organizers of the Ridgewood event. It was part of a nationwide “Students Demand Action” call that went out Wednesday asking students across the United States to walk out of school – both in solidarity with the victims of the Uvalde shooting and to demand what they call “stronger, commonsense and lasting gun control laws.”
“It’s not normal, and it’s become our normal - and our goal is to stop it,” says Kovac.
“We want universal background checks, which 87-90% of the country agrees on. We want emergency risk protective orders, which allows judges to remove guns from at-risk individuals,” says sophomore Jose Fishkin.
The teens say that they consider themselves to be lucky to live in a New Jersey town that has the resources to keep them safe. But they say it won’t be enough until kids across the country can also feel safe in school. While many of the students are not old enough to vote yet, they say that they are confident their generation will make this happen.
“We do this in school and teach our kids how to compromise – like ‘sharing is caring’ change. Being able to exchange ideas and exchange values and compromise,” says junior Musaab Mahmoud.
The student organizers worked with school administrators to plan Thursday’s event.
Superintendent Thomas Gorman said the district is extremely proud of the activism and civic engagement of the students. "We teach our students to be active participants in democracy, and to stand up for what they believe is right and just-- in a civil manner. As each one addressed the silent crowd, they stressed the urgent need for action and the power of the vote."