CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Students across the nation, and right here in western Massachusetts, will be showing their support for the 17 victims who died in the Majorory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
On March 14 – for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across each time zone – students, school faculty, and supporters will walk out of their schools to honor those killed and to protest gun violence.
Chicopee resident Matthew MacPhail told 22News he hopes his child’s school joins in the movement. “I raised my kids to be respectful, and this could happen anywhere. Being that it happens so far away, we need to be aware that something like this could happen here in the Pioneer Valley.”
Last month, a Wilbraham student organized a rally to push for stronger gun control.
Those participating are encouraged to wear orange, the color used by many who support gun control.
Willie Spradley of Holyoke said, “It’s a great idea, I support it 100 percent. Change is going to come from the youth. The youth sees it for what it really is, you have to break the cycle somewhere, and the youth is poised to do that.”
More than 185,000 students are expected to participate in the walkout, according to the latest numbers provided by the event’s website.
The event has gone international, with schools in Ireland, Israel and Mexico planning to participate.
22News contacted local school districts to see if they will be taking part.