On eve of planned school walkouts, local students hope message resonates

Students leaving school outside of Salem High School in Virginia Beach.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — On Wednesday, students all over Hampton Roads will walk out of class to send a message to lawmakers: they want tighter gun laws.

“I’d like my education to be taken seriously,” said Salem High School senior Christina Gordon.

The walkouts will take place at 10 a.m. It marks one month since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 students and teachers were shot and killed by a gunman.

“We’re not exactly being heard,” Gordon added. “I know this isn’t going to get to the state level, but we just want to be heard by the school districts. It makes me scared for my own safety, because I kind of am insulted over the fact that gun control is held highly above my right to an education.”

10 On Your Side checked in with all the local school systems. Officials tell us they are aware of the walkouts and have plans in place when they begin.

School administrators have made it clear they are neither for, nor against students protesting, and are not going to stop the students’ First Amendment rights.

Students say they are protesting because they want feel to safe on a daily basis.

“We want to see metal detectors and safe searches and more security, because we only have one SRO (school resource officer) right now,” Gordon added.

Emails went out to parents last week letting them know extra officers will be on hand tomorrow to keep students safe during the walkout. They will also make sure no one from the public gets onto school property.

More than 2,500 walkouts are planned across the country.