ROLLING HILLS ESTATES (CBSLA) — Anti-gun violence protests — led by students — will be held nationally starting Wednesday.
Many local students here plan to participate in the protests — which include walking out of school Wednesday for `17 minutes, one minute for each life lost in the last mass school shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to many of the students planning on protesting.
“This is my cousin Christopher.” says Jacqueline Engler showing off a large photo.
For Engler, a high school sophomore, the sorrow of losing her cousin intensified after the last month’s shooting massacre in Florida.
Christopher Roybal was a veteran of multiple tours in Afghanistan but he died in the Las Vegas massacre five months ago.
“I feel guilty for living my life now,” Engler says.
So this sophomore and her friends at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates are saying “enough.” And they are doing so with more than just hashtag activism.
“Make our voices loud. Make sure it’s peaceful. Set a precedent for walkouts to come throughout our school’s history,” said junior Amalia Munn.
They’ve a planned their classroom walkout for this Wednesday at 10 a.m.
“We’re not going to just sit there silently. We’re going to have an action portion where we have letters to congress,” says Amira Belhedi, a junior.
Across Southern California – students have been preparing for similar walk-outs.
A group from Crescenta Valley High School spent Sunday making signs.
For the kids at Peninsula High and so many like them – the issue of gun safety doesn’t mean taking away all guns.
But they’re putting lawmakers on notice — when it comes to assault- style weapons, they want to see a return of a national ban.
“We’re letting them know when we turn 18 – we can vote. We want to see these changes and they need to be aware of that,” says Olin Osborne III, a junior.
Engler and her family say they’ve lived with the loss of her cousin every day… just like those who were unwillingly — thrust into the headlines by gun violence.
“The 58 killed in Vegas. The 26 killed in the church in Texas. There were 49 killed in Orlando. The 20 [six] faculty and students that were killed in Sandy Hook,” Engler said.
Even though this is classroom walk-out, many school districts have worked out agreements with their students to hold their demonstrations on their football field to make sure everyone is safe.