Students demonstrated starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14 at the Marshall Academy of the Arts in Long Beach.
The goal of the demonstration was to honor the 17 victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida on Feb. 14.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia attended the event, commending students for making an effort to effect change: “LBUSD has got great programs and works well with parents. No one is trying to take away guns. We just want common-sense gun laws such as licensing and stronger background checks.”
Eighth grader Andrew Moe invited Garcia to the school. Moe, 14, wrote a letter to Garcia’s office asking him to work with legislators to make LBUSD schools safer. Moe said, “Seeing all the violence around the country, I wanted to make a change and wanted to see if our mayor would work with legislators.” Moe intends to attend Millikan High School in the Fall.
An eighth grade student who asked to remain anonymous said, “I just want everything to stop. I want to come to school without fear that someone will come here shooting and I will die.”
Parents also attended the walkout and participated with students and employees. Moe’s mom, Marysol, 42, attended the event. “We’re just super-excited the students pulled this off. Their activism and everything they’ve done is amazing. This is this generation’s Vietnam.”
To commemorate the Florida school victims, students stood around the east field and linked arms while the names, age and class of all students who died were read aloud.
Garcia will be attending the Long Beach “March for Our Lives” at Bixby Park on Cherry Avenue and Ocean Boulevard on Saturday, March 24, at 10 a.m.