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How one Alhambra school honored the victims of the Parkland, Fla. shooting

Emery Park Principal Jeremy Infranca addresses students on gun violence at an assembly for the National Walkout Against Gun Violence. Photo by David Muñoz.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

At 10:00 Wednesday morning, Jeremy Infranca, the principal at Emery Park Elementary School, read the name and age of each of the 17 victims of last month’s Parkland, Fla. shooting.

After each name was read, a student released a white balloon in honor of that person, while 130 students and staff engaged in a moment of silence for them. Participants also wore orange ribbons and held signs asking for a stop to gun violence at schools in the United States.

Infranca addressed Emery Park’s students as well, speaking to them being tired of living in a world with constant gun violence. “We’re tired of living in it too,” Infranca said, speaking on behalf of his staff.

This commemoration was part of Wednesday’s National School Walkout to honor those killed when a student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Several Alhambra schools participated in the walkout, which was held from 10 to 10:17 a.m.

On Tuesday, Infranca held a forum for Emery Park students, inviting them to share their thoughts on how staff could keep schools safe from gun violence. “I don’t really feel safe at school anymore,” one student said. “What’s stopping it from happening here?”

From there, Infranca asked students for what would make them feel safer. Suggestions included better securing school campuses and a stronger camera and police presence.

At the assembly, teachers encouraged students to watch out for their classmates and to come to them should they see anything that worries them.

Staff member Audrey Stering also encouraged students to use the walkout to make their voice heard politically. “This is their way of saying, ‘We can’t vote but this is serious and we’re tired of it,'” she said of the National School Walkout organizers. “Don’t be afraid to speak up.”

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