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Nevada students rally to protest gun violence

Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 19:30:12-04

The Latest on student walkouts at schools in Nevada to protest gun violence:

2:30 p.m.

The walkouts protesting gun violence at schools across the country hit close to home for a number of students who were attending a middle school in northern Nevada when tragedy hit their campus more than four years ago.

Sparks High School Principal Kevin Carroll says some of his seniors were students at nearby Sparks Middle School when a seventh-grader opened fire on the school playground in October 2013.

Jose Reyes fatally shot Sparks Middle School teacher Michael Landsberry and injured two classmates before turning the gun on himself.

About 200 students at Sparks High participated in Wednesday's walkout.

Carroll told the Reno Gazette Journal he thinks the protest had the biggest impact on those who experienced the fatal shooting in 2013. He says it was "kind of heartening" to see them participate in the rally.


2:05 p.m.

An unspecified threat at one northern Nevada high school kept the vast majority of its students from walking out of class to participate in a nationwide protest marking the one-month anniversary of a school shooting in Florida.

The Douglas County sheriff's office says a stay-put order was issued at Douglas High School in Gardnerville south of Carson City on Wednesday shortly after an unsubstantiated threat was received at about 9:30 a.m.

Deputies and state troopers patrolled the campus and surrounding area before they determined there was no danger and the order was lifted by 11 a.m.

The Record-Courier reports that three students managed to make their way out of the school and briefly joined more than a dozen adults who rallied with signs outside the school.

An officer escorted them back inside the school, which plans to reschedule its demonstration for another day.


1:10 p.m.

More than 1,000 Nevada students - from Las Vegas to Reno and Lake Tahoe to Elko - walked out of their classes to mark the one-month anniversary of a school shooting in Florida and to call for lawmakers to act to curb gun violence.

One of the biggest protests Wednesday was at a middle school in Reno. The Reno Gazette Journal reports that all 700-plus students at Swope Middle School walked out of class at 10 a.m. and filled the back track field for a protest.

About 300 at Reno's Wooster High chanted "We want peace" as they marched several blocks to the U.S. Post Office to mail letters they wrote to their members of Congress.

North of Reno, students at North Valleys High School released 17 balloons on the football field and held a moment of silence lasting 17 seconds in memory of the 17 victims in the Feb. 14 Florida shooting.

Hundreds rallied in downtown Las Vegas and hundreds more walked out of class in Sparks, in Carson City, at Elko High School in rural northeast Nevada and around Lake Tahoe at South Lake Tahoe, California and Truckee, California.


12:50 p.m.

Students at one Las Vegas high school filled a football field and held a minute of silence for each of the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, as their names were read aloud.

Clark High School senior Gabrielle Debelen told the Las Vegas Sun that students taking part in the Wednesday walkouts want their voices heard.

Debelen and school Principal Jill Pendleton say the walkout was not politically motivated but rather an opportunity for students to advocate for school safety.

The Clark County School District issued a statement Monday calling events pre-approved by administrators an appropriate way for students to express themselves.

The district is among the largest in the nation. It covers a county almost the size of New Jersey, with more than 350 campuses, 320,000 students and about 18,000 teachers.


11:27 a.m.

Hundreds of students at one Reno, Nevada high school chanted, "We want peace," as they marched several blocks to a U.S. Post Office to deliver letters to their members of Congress demanding action to combat gun violence.

Wooster High senior Ann Snelgrove said they have to put pressure on politicians who refuse to do their job because they're paid off by the gun lobby.

She said in a speech outside the post office Wednesday that those who oppose expanded background checks are on the wrong side of history. She asked, "Can't you hear the children scream?"

Freshman Lily Crano carried a sign referencing the mass shooting in Florida that read, "They could have been us." She told an Associated Press reporter, "If they don't hear us now, they're deaf."


11:20 a.m.

Students at several Nevada high schools walked out of classes to mark the one-month anniversary of a shooting in Florida and to call for lawmakers to act to curb gun violence.

In Las Vegas, home to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history last October, more than 350 students rallied on the steps of the city's oldest high school with signs reading "Enough is Enough" and chants like "NRA, stay away."

Las Vegas Academy of the Arts junior Tanya Abarico says they want policies and reform, not thoughts and prayers.

Student body President Darian Fluker invoked shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, and on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

She called the walkouts a march for student lives.


8:45 a.m.

Students at several Nevada high schools plan to walk out of classes to mark the one-month anniversary of a shooting at a campus in Florida and call for lawmakers to act to curb gun violence.

In Las Vegas, plans for Wednesday demonstrations come a little more than six months after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history left 58 people dead on the Strip.

Organizers planned one of the largest events at the city's oldest high school, the downtown Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.

In Reno, students at a downtown high school are expected to march to a U.S. Post Office to mail letters calling for Nevada members of Congress to support gun control measures.

A demonstration and speeches also were planned at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.