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Hundreds Of Local Students Protest Gun Violence As Part Of Nationwide Walkout

Students from the Academy of American Studies and Newcomers High School. Photo: Nathaly Pesantez.

March 14, 2018 By Tara Law and Nathaly Pesantez

Students in Long Island City and Astoria joined a nationwide school walkout this morning to protest gun violence.

High schoolers in Long Island City from the Academy of American Studies, the Academy for Careers in Television and Film, Bard High School Early College Queens, as well as Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Astoria, participated in the walkout alongside many other schools in the city and country.

Starting at 10 a.m., the 17-minute protest was held in honor of the 17 lives lost in the mass shooting at Majority Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida one month ago.

Hundreds of students from the Academy of American Studies gathered in the school parking lot in a walkout planned by the student government. Many of the students wore orange, the school color of Majority Stoneman Douglas.

Students read the names of the dead in Florida and released 17 orange balloons.

Among the students who addressed the crowd was 17-year old Nuzhat Wahid, a senior.

Nuzhat T. Wahid, a 17-year-old senior at the Academy of American Studies. Photo: Nathaly Pesantez.

“The students and faculty—2,972 students and faculty—of Stonemason Douglas lost what we take for granted: security, comfort, safety,” said Wahid. “We are here to commemorate 17 lives that were lost that day. We are here to advocate for a change that will make certain that this will never happen again. We are here as part of larger movement to make certain that there will never be another Parkland.”

Wahid said later that she had felt inspired to act after watching videos from the attack.

“It made me realize there’s a lot more at stake than just simple politics,” she said.

Students weren’t the only ones protesting, with parents of PS 11 students in Woodside staging a walkout as part of the national protest.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Long Island City) at the walkout. Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D- Astoria, East Elmhurst, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside) also spoke in front of the students at the Academy of American Studies. He praised students for taking action.

“This is happening because of you, the young people,” said Van Bramer. “Some of you may not be registered to vote, but what you’re doing today is so powerful. I hope you understand the power in each of you and the power in this collective of 16, 17 years olds to change this country for the better.”

PS 11 protest

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6 Comments

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MRLIC

All these protests are well and good. Until assault weapons are banned other mass shootings could happen unfortunately. The NRA is worried about banning all guns. I believe if these assault weapons were banned we would see less and less of the shootings we are seeing. There was a assault weapons ban but George W. Bush let it expire in 2004. DUMB MOVE!

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Anonymous

While mass shooting are traumatic they actually represent the minority of shootings. Most are shot with handguns, illegal ones, and assault rifles play a minuscule role. Technically illegal handguns in high crime inner cities is the problem in terms of people shot and killed with firearms. Banning assault rifles would be of questionable effectiveness as the previous ban was often criticized as having minimal to no effect and it wouldn’t address the underlying issues that lead to mass shooting incidents. While I agree steps need to be taken to keep weapons out of the wrong hands I think there are better implementations that would be more effective then banning specific guns, limiting magazine capacity, or raising age limits all of which infringe on all while not really making us safer. Universal nationwide minimal standard laws and licensing, basic competency requirements, nationwide realtime data bases ($$$), and strict enforcement of illegal gun possession would be way more effective to combat gun violence.

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MRIRONY

Yeah it’s a shame the NRA own the talk show host that you voted for for president. He undid an Obama-era rule that would have prevented 75k mentally ill people from having guns.

Looks like you voted against your own interests again, what a sheep.

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