Education

Green Hope students walk out of class, call for end to gun violence in schools

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) - Two weeks after a mass shooting that left 17 people dead, classes are resuming at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and one Triangle school is standing in solidarity with those students and faculty.

Green Hope High School students walked out of class at noon and marched to the football stadium where both students and politicians spoke.

A similar walkout happened last week at Jordan High School in Durham.

Students at Green Hope say the walkout is in support of the Parkland community and ending the epidemic of gun violence in schools.

"People I knew were killed," said Megan Sharma, a Cary junior who once attended MSD. "It terrifies me, it absolutely terrifies me knowing something like this could happen to me."

Speakers on both sides of the gun control debate spoke at the event.

"The best voice for change is by those who are most impacted, and those are our students. And so, I applaud them for being organized and civil and really speaking up for themselves," said Wake County School Board member Monika Johnson-Hostler.

Two Green Hope students were recently students at Stoneman Douglas before moving to the Triangle.

One of those students, junior Debarpita Bhattacharya, described to CBS North Carolina what she was experiencing when she heard about what was happening at her former school.

"I just couldn't process what was happening in that moment when I looked up the news I saw it as it was happening," she said. "Two people, then two people turned to five, seven, 17. I just I couldn't make any sense of it at the time."

Students walked out of class at noon and wore maroon in support of the 17 lives lost at Stoneman Douglas.

One state senator told CBS North Carolina's Beairshelle Edmé that he plans to get funding for more school psychologists and put a universal background check in place.

"The most important thing we can do as a society is to educate our kids and if they don't feel safe then I think we failed at doing that," explained Senator Jay Chaudhuri, a Wake County Democrat.

In addition to those at Green Hope, students at The School for Creative Studies in Durham also walked out around 1:15 p.m. in silent protest over gun violence in schools.

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