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EUGENE, Ore., -- Students at South Eugene High School organized and participated in a walkout Wednesday, to honor the victims lost in the Parkland, Florida school shooting and to push for gun reform.
Hundreds of students walked out and at least a hundred community members watched and cheered students on from the sidewalk.
The walkout lasted 17 minutes, to pay tribute to the 17 victims lost in the Flordia shooting.
Students who organized the walkout said they hope they can start a larger conversation about gun control and school safety. They said it was an example of how students can create change and have a voice in their community.
During the event, organizers even set up a voter registration booth. They hope by encouraging students to register to vote they can play an active role in the decision-making process.
"I think we can all empathize with what is happening in our nation and we need to focus on creating change here first," Maya Corral, a student who helped organize the walkout, said.
Community members showing their support agreed it was time for a change and said students shouldn't have to be afraid when they go to school.
Connie Newman, a community member whose children went to South Eugene, said it was time to get the amount of gun-related incidents in the country under control.
Larry Lewin, a retired 4J teacher, said he believes the walkouts are a good way for students to bring awareness to the issue and he thinks Wednesday's walkout was a positive start.
"Shooting after shooting nothing happens, but now when students speak up it is going to be harder to ignore their voices," Lewin said. "So this is a potential, this is a start and I want them to know the elders recognize this. We have been trying for years and now with their new energy, we have a chance to make a difference here."
Walkouts happened all over the country and are part of a national movement.
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