Local students join walkout for gun safety

Students protesting against the lack of progress on gun safety legislation protest Friday at Unionville High School. Janet McGann photo.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — About 75 students joined students from around the nation commemorating the deadly school shooting in Columbine, Colo. which took place 19 years ago, Friday, at Unionville High School. The national wave of students’ protests against gun violence was sparked by a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school in February.

Similar events occurred elsewhere in the county, including West Chester University.

Most of the students were there to protest the lack of legislative progress — on either a state or federal level — to pass any kind of gun safety laws, including universal background checks and limits to access of military weapons.

Unionville High School students demonstrate in favor of gun rights, Friday. Janet McGann photo.

A smaller group offered its support for gun rights.

The event was peaceful and lasted less than 20 minutes, UHS Principal Jimmy Conley told parents in an email Friday. Local police blocked the entrances to the school to make sure no non-students attempted to participate.

Conley’s message said:

East Marlborough Police Vehicles block the driveway at Unionville High School to prevent non-students from participating in Friday’s demonstration. Janet McGann photo.

“This morning, approximately 75 students gathered in the front of Unionville High School in response to the tragic events at Stoneman Douglas High School. We supported the students’ 1st Amendment rights and unique perspectives by providing a safe environment for them to assemble and to speak. The students were respectful and returned to class after 17-minutes. Instruction continued and all students were accounted for upon their re-entry to the building.”

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