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Washington students walk out in protest of gun violence

Students march with signs that read "Protect Kids," "Don't wait to care until your life is affected by gun violence," "How many more?" and "Protect kids; not guns"
Manuel Valdes
FILE - Students at Roosevelt High School take part in a protest against gun violence Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Seattle. Politicians in Washington state are joining students who walked out of class to protest against gun violence. It was part of a nationwide school walkout that calls for stricter gun laws following the massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of high school and middle school students in Olympia, Washington, walked out of schools to protest gun violence Wednesday after 19 children and two teachers were shot and killed last week at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

The walkout was organized by members of the Olympia High School Feminism Club, The Olympian reported.

“These sort of walkouts are the only type of thing that makes voices heard," Club President Alayna Winstead-Coby said.

The Washington State Patrol estimated about 100 students gathered for the rally on the steps of the state Capitol.

Hannah Martin read an open letter to officials.

“If there’s a shooter, hide in the corner, jump out those windows, don’t be the hero, save yourself,” she read. “Because if we won’t, who will? You surely won’t. Instead, you stand outside an elementary school for an hour because it’s not safe, but still, you expect us to feel safe when you, a trained professional, refused to go in yourself,” she continued.

Organizers also read the names of the students and teachers killed in the Uvalde shooting before taking a moment of silence.

Students in Seattle and Tacoma have also been staging walkouts in support of measures to reduce gun violence.

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