PORTLAND, Ore. — Students across Oregon left class Wednesday to join a call by young activists for stricter gun laws.
Students throughout the United States were asked to leave class for 17 minutes — one minute for each of the dead in last month’s massacre at a Florida high school.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown went to Roosevelt High School in Portland to show support. Brown tweeted that she was proud of the students, encouraged by the movement, and federal legislators must do more to keep schools safe.
Elsewhere in Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler visited Lincoln High. He spoke about it at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
“Students at Lincoln honored 17 minutes of silence,” Wheeler said. “They had set up 17 school desks with the name of each of the victims.” He added: “Hundreds of young adults together on the field and you could hear a pin drop,”
At Churchill High in Eugene , students gathered in the school courtyard at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes of silence and then marched down a road chanting: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the NRA has to go.”
In Eastern Oregon , dozens of Pendleton High students gathered silently by a flagpole. An assistant principal monitored the event from afar and a police officer was on the scene. Hundreds of students also walked out of Hermiston High.
In Grants Pass, roughly 300 students chanted: “Enough is enough, books not guns” and other messages opposing gun violence. A dozen police attended the event. A small group of counter-protesters, one wrapped in a Confederate flag, was kept away from the demonstration.