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San Diego County students demand action after Texas school massacre

Students at San Marcos High School joined a national walk out to protest gun violence and demand action after Texas school massacre.
Courtesy of the San Marcos Unified School District
Students at San Marcos High School joined a national walk out to protest gun violence and demand action after Texas school massacre.

San Diego students joined hundreds of thousands of others throughout the nation and walked out of class Thursday to protest gun violence.

They also honored the 19 students and two teachers who were killed by a lone gunman on Tuesday at a Texas elementary school.

Those who participated in the walkout, such as San Dieguito Academy High School student Joy Rupert, said they’re scared this could happen at their schools.


"Even though we weren't directly affected this time, we are still students and staff that see this happening on the news," she said. "And one day, with an open campus, that could happen to us."

At San Marcos High School, students sat in the quads with some student speakers expressing their concerns and condolences.

"This is a really, really tough week, no question about it," said San Marcos Unified Superintendent Andy Johnson.

He said administrators understand that this is a difficult time for students and staff and have allowed the students to take time out of class, gather, share their feelings and honor the victims.

"A couple of speakers ... read the names of the victims, encouraged the kids to register to vote if they’re of that age and returned to class," Johnson said. "It was very respectful and heartfelt and I was very proud of the kids."


The demonstrations were part of a national event organized by Students Demand Action, a nonprofit that advocates for stronger gun-control laws.

"It’s hard to process, honestly — I think we’re all a little numb this week and hugging our kids real tight," said Johnson.

He sent the following message to staff and students:

"As you likely are aware, we are receiving the news about the school shooting situation out of Texas that is currently unfolding. Needless to say, I am deeply saddened by yet another news story of these horrific events.

I want to let you know that our school counselors and social workers are on standby ready to help both students and staff with support processing this event. We also have been in communication with our SRO's and they will be highly visible tomorrow and throughout the week. It is my hope that you know the safety of our staff and our students are the top priority for all of us. We have also added School Safety information to our website that outlines our readiness to respond to emergency situations.

As always, during times like these I would like to reiterate the basics: if you see something, say something. While it is unknown if this latest incident could have been prevented or action taken in advance, every bit of preparedness helps and I thank you for your vigilance."