EC students continue rally Wednesday night after walkouts at Nor - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

EC students continue rally Wednesday night after walkouts at North & Memorial


Eau Claire (WQOW) - There were walkouts across the nation Wednesday, including in the Chippewa Valley. Though a school walkout was only one way local students pushed for safer schools Wednesday. 

A group of more than two dozen students and community members gathered near the Eau Claire School District offices Wednesday afternoon, this time calling for gun control. 

After a brief rally, they marched to the federal building on Barstow Street. 

"The students are baring a terrible brunt of the plague of violence against them. They're being murdered," said Paul Miller, an Eau Claire resident who showed up to show his support for students. "They want to see change come about and they're nearing the voting age, and they could bring it about." 

At the federal building, the group staged a "die-in" and stayed silent and still for more than six minutes, to honor everyone who has lost their lives to gun violence since Sandy Hook. 

That happened hours after students at North and Memorial walked out of class Wednesday morning. It was one month ago 17 students were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

"They came out here, like, outside of their classroom and they came here to be a part of something bigger than themselves," said Memorial High School student Zaria Whitacre.

Across town at Eau Claire North, students stood in silent solidarity for 17 minutes, remembering the 17 lives lost in Florida.

"We shouldn't be scared to go to school, this is enough," said North's walkout organizer Abby Green. "We all need to stand together as a united front and do something about it."

After about 17 minutes, students headed back inside to continue their school day. 

Memorial seniors Violet Kilmurray and Zaria Whitacre said they organized their school's walkout, not just for their classmates, but for students around the nation.

"I'm hoping that today everyone in our country sees the youth come together and show that it's time for a change and we're done," Kilmurray said. "We don't want to be killed at school, we want to feel safe."

"Yeah we're here in Eau Claire, but somebody in a different city that's less safe, you know, they might not feel safe," Whitacre said. "So, we're standing up not just for ourselves, but for all schools." 

Community members showed up to cheer on the students, hoping by the time their little ones are off to school, things are different. 

"I'm just hoping that she will have a safe school," said Teresa Biederman. "Public schools, not just private schools, but safe public schools."

"Students did it, they made a difference," said Cynthia Whitscher. "We as adults needs to start making a difference. We let the ball drop, we need to pick it up."

You may remember a threat at Memorial last November. Students said the fear they felt that day is still on their minds making this movement all the more important for them.

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