Hundreds of West Boca High School students walked out of their classes Tuesday morning in a show of solidarity with the 17 students and faculty killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during last week’s school shooting.
The students walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 10 miles south of West Boca High School, to call attention to the need for stronger gun control laws. A spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Miami Herald that his agency and the Broward Sheriff’s Office were following the students just to ensure their safety and make sure the roads stayed clear.
Students gathered in the West Boca courtyard chanting “we want change!” before heading out on their march.
Other high schools across south Florida, including Fort Lauderdale High School Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High in Miami, staged similar protests; Hialeah High School is reportedly planning a walkout on Wednesday.
The protests come as student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas make their way to the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, where they will meet with legislators and attend a rally for gun control on Wednesday. Some student activists claim to have secured a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott (R), who has said he will not attend a CNN town hall on the subject. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have all confirmed that they will attend the town hall, which will take place at the BB&T Center in Broward County on Wednesday and telecast live at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas student activists have already become the targets of a far-right smear campaign in the days following the shooting. Far-right blogs like Gateway Pundit have targeted students like David Hogg, who appeared on cable news shows after the shooting and made an impassioned plea for stricter gun laws.
“We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done,” Hogg said during an interview with CNN last week.
Monday morning President Donald Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., embraced the smear campaign, liking a series of tweets with links to articles that suggested the student activists and survivors were part of an elaborate FBI plot to abolish the Second Amendment.