Students prepare to join nationwide walking on Wednesday in support of stricter gun laws

The Seattle city council unanimously passed a resolution supporting a 17-minute student walkout on Wednesday, in memory of the victims killed in the Florida school shooting and in support of calls for stricter gun laws. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - Standing before Seattle City Council Monday 16-year-old Aliza Cosgrove’s voice trembled as she talked about her anxieties.

The Nathan Hale High School sophomore said she often thinks about the day a gunman might walk onto campus, leaving her to text her family goodbye.

“My death should not be something that occurs after I’ve been under a desk in my science class in a dark room texting my family through blurry tears telling them I love them because I may be killed by the weapon that’s been fired in the hallways,” she testified.

“The last sound I hear before I die should not be the bang of the bullets being released from an assault weapon,” she added.

Cosgrove was among a handful of high school and college students to ask city councilmembers to support tighter regulations on firearms as well as support a nationwide school walkout on Wednesday.

The Women’s March Network is calling for students, faculty and teachers to walk out of their classes from 10 until 10:17 a.m. Wednesday in honor of the 17 students killed by a gunman at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.

Cosgrove and her friends are planning to join students at Roosevelt High School, also in North Seattle, to march from Roosevelt to the University of Washington. She plans to keep pressuring lawmakers until change occurs.

“This is why students must march and this is why gun laws must change,” Cosgrove said.

Councilmembers unanimously passed a resolution supporting the walkout. They said they also support legislative changes to restrict firearms from the hands of youth.

“Students should not have to feel worried about walking into their classrooms and whether or not that will be the last time that they’ll have the opportunity to do so,” Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez said.

Tatiana Perkins said she has waited too long for change.

Perkins said her close childhood friend Anna Bui was killed by a gunman at a house party in 2016. Allen Ivanov was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last year.

“My childhood best friend was murdered from the Mukilteo shooting and it’s been almost two years and there’s been no meaningful legislation that’s been passed,” Perkins said.

Local school districts have sent home letters to parents and guardians explaining how a walkout will impact students.

Some districts, including Seattle, will issue an unexcused absence others say they won’t, as long as the people walking out don’t leave campus.

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