Students across US stage walkout for Gun Violence Awareness Day

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Students across New York City and the country walked out of school Friday morning in a push for action to stop gun violence, wearing orange as part of their stand for "Gun Violence Awareness Day."

Seventh and eighth graders from Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School started the march around 10:30 a.m. and ended in Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn, where they gave speeches and performances. The walkout was sanctioned by the administration.

For some students, this was their first walk out, but others are veterans. Yaydey Rivera, a seventh grader, told Eyewitness News this demostration was important to her because her mother is sometimes afraid to send her school.

"My mother is very afraid to send me to school cause there's a lot of gang violence around where I live. I live in the projects, and there's a lot of blocks who come over and start shooting because they feel like it and a lot of grown-ups who just argue and they fight and just shoot becuase they just feel like it and they just don't like somebody over dumb stuff," she said.

Rivera said she believes she and her classmates can make a difference.

According to wearorange.org, orange is the color Hadiya Pendleton's friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 -- just one week after performing at President Barack Obama's second inaugural parade.

National Gun Violence Awareness Day is held annually on the first Friday in June after launching in 2017.

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