Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS

As Students Walk Out Of Schools Nationwide To Protest Gun Violence, One N.J. Student Stands Out

March 14, 2018 - 3:44 pm
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SAYREVILLE, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Today marks one month since the massacre at a Parkland, Florida high school.

Students across the nation walked out of their classrooms Wednesday to protest gun violence.

And one student in particular is standing out.

1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck was in Sayreville, New Jersey where officials threatened to suspend kids who participated.

The threat appeared to be enough to deter all but one student from walking out of class.

Rosa Rodriguez walked out of Sayreville High School risking suspension while other students attended a gathering in the school auditorium, Schuck reported.

Rodriguez said she was disappointed in her fellow students.

"If you were gonna come outside in the first place, you should have still came outside. Just because you didn't want to have these consequences and stuff, just stay inside, you should have came outside and proven them wrong," she said.

Officials said suspension of up to two days would be a possibility for Sayreville students who walked out at 10 a.m. like tens-of-thousands of other students across the country. The message was reinforced by the school's principal who took to the PA system to remind students that a walkout would be met with consequences.

Rosa's story was getting noticed on Twitter. 

Parent Nancy Dias said even her 6th grade son wanted to protest, but was told he couldn't, even if parents are there to chaperone them.

"That way our kids are safe, that way they still get the opportunity to be engaged, ask questions. And the school district sent me an email saying 'thank you, they would not even entertain that.' It's very disheartening," she said.

The nationwide walkouts are the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.

Many students in the New York area showed solidarity with the Florida students by walking out of their schools for 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims.

One school where they wouldn't be walking out in protest is Hackensack High School. That protest was shut down due to threats of violence.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, officials offered support to students who were walking out.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla hosted a vigil outside of city hall.

"Today students take the lead in the fight for reasonable gun laws in our country and I stand with Hoboken students and those across the country as we
 remember those who perished in what is sadly the latest school shooting," said Bhalla.

Politicians joined the morning's events in New York as well. Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Leadership And Public Service High School in Lower Manhattan, while Mayor Bill de Blasio was at Edward R Murrow High School in Brooklyn.

On Long Island, students in some districts were walking out, while in other districts educators organized tributes, and Parkland-specific lessons that focus on mental health and civic activism.