MEDFORD, Ore. -- Students from Central Medford High School, North Medford High School, South Medford High School, and St. Mary's High School organized a walk-out and march to protest for an increase in gun control.
Organizer, Skylar Lynch, a senior at North Medford High School, says that this has been in the making since the Florida school shooting that happened on Valentine's Day, "I planned this about two weeks ago and put together the Instagram page and got the word out and I’m really impressed by the amount of people that showed up."
Students who participated in the march were supporting a number of solutions that they believe would reduce the amount of school shootings.
"I would like to see better background checks, better enforcement of the existing background checks because preventing these kinds of violent extremist people or otherwise unstable people from acquiring firearms is the first step. I think elimination of all firearms is somewhat impractical," said junior Sean Hicks.
Sara Klott, from St. Mary's High School, sent an e-mail to her classmates the night before the march asking them to join in with the already planned walk-out happening at all three Medford high schools, "I think specifically what we’re asking for is not taking away guns but having better gun control laws; not being allowed to buy an automatic weapon or not being able to buy the accessories that make a semi-automatic weapon automatic."
Around 100 students chanted, "We are students, we are people, we are change" at Vogal Plaza on the corner of E. Main St. and Central Ave.
At North Medford High School a small group of students participated in a sit-in in front of the school entrance to counter-protest the walk-out for more gun control.
"I’m here supporting our Second Amendment, trying to get the attention of all people to realize that taking the guns away or restricting our rights is not going to solve any problems. It’s not the guns that are causing harm, it’s the people that are doing it," said Kenzie Mak, a student at North Medford High School.
One of the students who was counter-protesting was Tyler Talley who was holding a sign that opposed the suggestion to change the legal age to buy a firearm.
"Changing the law to age 21 instead of 18, we think it’s absurd because people go and defend our country with guns at the age of 18 and they can’t even go home and protect their own family with guns," said Talley.
The Medford School District says that they sent a letter out to parents the day before the student-planned protests.
St. Mary's High School says that they contacted each parent who's child left class for the walk-out.
None of the schools will be punishing the students who participated in the walk-out but they were counted as absent.