By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

Two groups of Brookings-Harbor students walked out of class to march Wednesday in the National School Walkout.

About 50 high school and 75 middle school students protested gun violence in America and honored and memorialized the 17 students and staff members killed in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Student Brigid Mitchell said, “I am marching for the 17 people killed in Florida on Valentine’s Day.”

Some of the students carried signs and chanted, but most walked quietly.

“I don’t think anyone, let alone a 19 year old has any reason to have an almost military grade semi-automatic assault rifle,” student Aynika Nelson said.

Nelson said she was marching to protest access to military-style weapons.

According to high school Principal Krista Nieraeth in Port Orford, 24 students in the district participated in the walkout.

In Gold Beach, Principal Tim Wilson said, “We had about 40 students and a parent participate. They were silent. At 10:17 the students promptly moved back to class. They were respectful and solemn.”

The Women’s March’s Youth Empower group planned the national school walkout for March 14, according to the group’s website.

At 10 a.m. in every time zone, students across the U.S. walked out of schools. The organization had asked students to march for 17 minutes, one minute for each person killed in Parkland.

The group also said students from Parkland, with support from national organizations, are planning a March For Our Lives on March 24, in Washington, D.C., to call for school safety and gun control.

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com .

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