Southern California students stage walkouts and vigils in response to Uvalde school shooting

SILVER LAKE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — There is no real connection between the residents who gathered at the corner of West Silver Lake and Tesla Avenue Thursday night and Ulvade, Texas, about 1,300 miles away.

However, families who have gathered want to show those broken by gun violence that they are not alone.

Jill Cordes helped organize the impromptu vigil.

She said she had to do something.

“It’s not just about hope,” Cordes said. “It’s about showing our kids what a little activism means, and it also means bringing our community together to mourn and honor what happened in Uvalde and Buffalo.”

Her son Emmett Johnston, who is in fourth grade, said it was important for her to send her thoughts and prayers.

MORE: What we know about 21 Texas school shooting victims; The teacher’s widower dies of a heart attack

He said: “So that they know that we support them and that everyone is there for them, even if we have never met or known them.”

The tragedy at Robb Elementary, which claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers, has other students, like sixth grader Violet Pastor, wondering, “Can this happen?”

“The way our school has security guards, we know we’re safe and it most likely won’t happen to us, but we’re still thinking about the people it happened to,” Violet said.

Earlier in the day, students from several Southern California schools walked out in protest demanding an end to gun violence.

At Saugus High School, where two students were killed and three others injured in a November 2019 school shooting, one of the survivors made an emotional appeal.

Mia Tretta said: “Schools should be a sanctuary of learning, not death, and I shouldn’t have to fear every time I go onto this campus that I might be shot and it’s not fair that this should happen on ours.” country happened again and again. “

Finn Franti, who knew the two students who were killed, also said: “I was here during the event that took place here. I’ve been here and it’s just awful. I don’t want family, friends or anyone to have to go through that.”

Some, like Ivanhoe Elementary School coach Anthony Williamson, believe the best way to bring about change is to work directly with gun lobbyists like the NRA.

Williamson said, “So we have to take that first step to them and tell them how you can help us because you know more about guns than anyone else on the planet.”

While this vigil is just a small demonstration of support for those who are hurt, young students like sixth grader Zaiyde Cross hope their calls for change will not go unheeded.

She said: “It’s really ridiculous and it’s really heartbreaking that we are putting guns over lives. That hurts. That hurts me so much.”

march for our livesa student-led gun demonstration in support of gun control, plans rallies in cities across the country on June 11.

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https://abc7.com/uvalde-shool-shooting-texas-mass/11899263/ Southern California students stage walkouts and vigils in response to Uvalde school shooting

Laura Coffey

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