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Sacramento students call for stricter gun laws as part of nationwide walkout

The walkout at McClatchy High School lasted for around 30 minutes.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Students across the nation are walking out of class, demanding lawmakers take action following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Among them were hundreds of students in Sacramento

McClatchy High School students walked out of class and gathered in front of their school Wednesday afternoon. They stood in solidarity with the 19 students and two teachers whose lives were tragically cut short at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last week. They also demanded action from lawmakers, calling on them to implement stricter gun laws.

"How many more stories? How many more churches? How many more colleges? How many more street corners? How many more schools?" said Cynthia Romo, a student at McClatchy High. 

The students were part of a growing movement of school walkouts taking place across the U.S.

"Don't tell me I don't understand anything about guns when my childhood has been defined by school shootings," said one student who took the podium.

The event was led by Eli Aten, student body president at McClatchy High.

"In this country, fourth graders should not have to sacrifice their lives because someone had unlimited access to an automatic weapon," said Eli Aten, student body president.

Following a moment of silence that lasted 21 seconds to remember the 21 lives that were tragically cut short, students and Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela made their remarks. 

"I've heard too many people who are older and more experienced than I am say 'Oh, it's not gonna change. Well, I reject that. It can change; it will change," Valenzuela said. 

Lily Zokal, who is finishing up her junior year, said it's been difficult coming to school each day when all she can think about is her own safety. 

"Every single day, I walk up those steps and I think about 'Am I going to make it home? Am I going to have to text my parents and tell them I love them one last time?' Zokal said.

Charlotte Rivas, a junior at McClatchy, said students have grown up in the constant fear of school shootings ever since elementary school.

During the walkout, Zokal held up a sign with the names of every victim who died in last week's massacre.

"People need to know who they are. They need to know who was sacrificed that day," Zokal said. 

Finnegan Morrison, also in his junior year, said enough is enough and wants to see more action and accountability from lawmakers. 

"More background checks on guns and just being able to have a more secure system of buying a gun, but also more readily available services for people who are mentally ill," Morrison said. 

The walkout, which started at noon, lasted for around 30 minutes. In a statement, the Sacramento City Unified School District said they support the rights of McClatchy students to have their voices heard on this important topic.

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McClatchy High School students plan walkout in support of Uvalde victims

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