Deerfield students walk-out to protest gun violence on Columbine - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Deerfield students walk-out to protest gun violence on Columbine anniversary

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

Students across the country demonstrated Friday in observance of the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings.

At Deerfield Academy, about 100 students walked out of class this morning.

This, while parents of a Parkland, FL shooting victim visited Springfield today.

Manuel and Patricia Oliver are in Springfield, painting a mural in memory of their son Joaquin, who was killed in the Parkland high school shooting.

They encourage students to speak out against gun violence and support students who participated in a walkout in Deerfield this morning.

"I hope that this engenders more conversation on the subject of gun safety legislation," said Deerfield Academy senior Abby Lupi.

More than 100 students gathered on the Deerfield Academy campus green Friday morning in the spirit of the 'Never Again' and 'March for Our Lives' movements.

"Everyone needs to be informed about what's going on on a national scale and I hope this can be inspiring to somebody else," Lupi added.

The event happened on April 20 because it marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Since February, after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, students across the country have been walking out of class and marching throughout major cities to raise awareness about gun violence and inspiring change.

"We're hosting an event where anyone who's 18 can register to vote.  We'll be doing that online mostly and we'll also be teaching students how to call and email their representatives, so that they can make their voices heard," said Deerfield Academy senior Suzannah Mazur.

Kye Liew, a senior at Deerfield Academy, added, "Students from other countries, especially like for me, I'm from Malaysia, I'm planning on going back to vote for my own issues because I'm inspired by students here and their own political beliefs, to stand up and have a voice."

Deerfield Academy students were joined by students across the nation Friday and by the parents of a Parkland shooting victim, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver.

"We empower the youth as much as we can and we encourage people to register for voting," said Manuel Oliver, Joaquin's father.

Manuel and Patricia Oliver were in Springfield today to paint a mural in memory of their son - something they are doing in cities nationwide.

They told Western Mass News that they chose Springfield as a stop because it is home to the Smith and Wesson headquarters.

"Let me tell you something.  We really don't want this happening to any family at all," said Patricia Oliver.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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