NYC students protesting gun violence walk out of class

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NEW YORK -

Hundreds of students advocating gun reform walked out of class across New York City Friday.

The walkouts were part of a national call for gun reform across the country.

The day also marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre that left 12 students and one teacher dead.

Students at James Monroe High School in the Bronx participated in the nationwide walkouts in a show of solidarity.

Some wore orange ribbons as a tribute to the Columbine victims, while others chanted and held signs.

Ziah Meyers, a participating student, said, “Today was all about advocacy and making sure our voices is heard."

Meyers said gun violence “doesn't just happen in schools, it doesn't just happen in movie theaters, it doesn't just happen in churches. It happens in our neighborhoods and it happens all the time. A bullet doesn't just miss anybody.”

The walkouts were organized by a group called "New York City Says Enough."

The group instructed participating students to meet at Washington Square Park.

Many school officials, including the Department of Education, said students who walked out of class Friday would be penalized.

The DOE said any student who left school grounds would receive an unexcused absence.

In some private schools across the city, such as St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn, however, teachers and other faculty members joined their students in protest to help support the cause.

Dozens of Parkland school survivors flew from Florida to Colorado Thursday to support Columbine survivors on the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy that rocked their community in 1999.

Parkland students survived a shooting in their school back in February during which 16 students and a teacher were killed.

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