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Private School Students Around Massachusetts Stage Gun Control Walkouts

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A student holds a sign on the Red Line T on her way to a rally at the Massachusetts State House as part of the National Student Walkout on March 14, 2018.
Paris Alston/WGBH News

Students from around the country will walk out of classes Friday as an act of protest to support gun control legislation and school safety measures. 
 
Massachusetts public school students won't be joining in because they're off this week for April vacation, but students at eight private schools around the state are expected to walk out of classes in protest.
 
At the Bancroft School in Worcester, junior Sam Bond said he was inspired to organize the event out of concern that students, including himself, were already moving on from thinking about the shooting in Parkland, Florida.
 
"We want people to keep talking about it and know that it's an issue, and we want to show the community that Bancroft thinks it's a big issue," Bond said. "We definitely are supporting common sense gun legislation. Anything that will prevent another shooting like this from happening."

 

Students at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill will meet for a ceremony on the school field at 10 a.m., and later in the day student leaders will prompt conversations and register classmates to vote.
 

"We are fortunate enough to go to a school that has not been impacted by gun violence, and we want to stand in solidarity and support those high schoolers, high schoolers who are our age, who have been affected by this," said Beaver Country Day School Senior Zoe Carlson. She said they hope to educate fellow students about gun violence in schools. "To be compassionate, we have to know more about what the victims are going through, and we have to equip ourselves with knowledge."
 

Overall, school adminstrators seem to be supporting the walkouts, and in some cases are helping to organize the events. Newton Country Day School sent students Virignia Del Real and Chloe Warshaw to Washington, D.C. last month for the March for Our Lives event. The two students are organizing Friday's walkout with the school's support.
 

"Being a young person in this age, we're learning so much about these problems that are happening," De Real said. "It's kids our own age that are dying in schools. It's kids our own age who are being gunned down by police on the street. So I think there's a real call to action from people our own age because we empathize with that."
 
Del Real says she was inspired by the Parkland, Florida students who led the D.C. march. "I can't vote yet, I have another year until I'm allowed to legally vote," she said. "So what am I supposed to do if I can't vote, if I can't make my voice heard in that way? This is my opportunity to do that."
 

"We are very focused on education that leads to action," said Warshaw, who is a junior at Newton Country Day. "Because we feel that we need to keep this conversation going, but mainly try to provoke some change."
 

Walkouts are also expected at Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, St. Mark's School in Marlborough, Cambridge School of Weston and Worcester Academy. 

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