Students across Long Island walk out to protest gun violence

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DIX HILLS -

Schools across the nation, including many on Long Island, participated Wednesday in National Walkout Day to protest gun violence.

The walkout was organized to protest gun violence and press lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws exactly one month after the Florida school massacre.

MORE: Students walk out at Half Hollow Hills High School East

In Rockville Centre, students who choose to participate were allowed to walk out of the school onto the football field – lining the track. Seniors then stood in the middle of the field, holding pictures of the victims of the Parkland shooting. Their names were then read aloud and a moment of silence was observed.

The superintendent of Rockville Centre schools told News 12 that while this was not sponsored by the district, he felt it was important for the students to understand that they do have the right to have their voices heard “as long as it is in a respectful and appropriate way.”

Students at Half Hollow Hills High School East walked out of their classrooms for 17 minutes to honor the lives of the 17 people that were that were killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One of those people killed was teacher Scott Beigel, who also went to school at Half Hollow Hills High School East.

MORE: Community honors Dix Hills native killed in Florida school shooting

Students in Copiague told News 12 that they weren't allowed to walk out or peacefully protest in the lobby of their school. Instead, they say administrators encouraged them to take part in other activities.

Kaitlyn Besse, a junior in the student council, said she was upset by that decision. She says she and her friends made signs and met in the lobby, but were told to disperse by school administrators. Besse ended up with two days of out-of-school suspension.

“I know I did the right thing for the people who lost their lives who can't stand here today and get their message across,” she said.

Schools across US brace for walkouts over gun violence

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