Portland area students join nationwide walkout on anniversary of Columbine

Portland area students join nationwide walkout on anniversary of Columbine (KATU photo)

Students across the Portland metro area are participating in a National School Walkout Friday morning on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting.

The walkout was organized in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year.

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The majority of the Portland-area walkouts are began around 10 a.m., with many students are traveling to City Hall and Pioneer Square for downtown demonstrations.

The walkouts are intended to hold elected officials accountable, promote solutions to gun violence, and get students active in the political system.

Portland Public School Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero says the district is monitoring things closely.

"It's not surprising to me that students here in the Portland area have some critical opinions and voices that they want to make sure are heard," said Guerrero. "We have a board policy to make sure we're non-partisan and apolitical in these instances, but we're going to be closely monitoring tomorrow's activities and working with city officials."

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Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke at one of the rallies outside City Hall.

"You have lit a fire under the politics of this nation, you have made a difference," he said.

Wheeler also told students he's going to ask Governor brown to lift state preemptions so he can pass a ban on assault-style weapons in the city.

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