March 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Students walk out of class to protest gun violence

Thousands of students participated in the National Student Walkout march and rally against gun violence at the U.S. Capitol on March 14, 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Thousands of students who walked out of class on Wednesday in protest of gun violence marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is among the members of Congress who spoke to the students who rallied at the U.S. Capitol. U.S. Reps. Don McEachin (D-Va.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) are among the lawmakers who the Washington Blade saw shaking students’ hands as they walked towards the rally.

The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, a political action committee that formed after the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., is among the groups that also participated in the National Student Walkout that took place a month after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The U.S. Capitol rally is among the hundreds of National Student Walkout events that occurred across the country.

Grayson O’Marra, an eighth-grade student at Westland Middle School in Bethesda, Md., was holding a sign with a rainbow flag on it that described the National Rifle Association as “not representing America.” One of her classmates, Molly Persson, was holding a sign with President Trump’s picture that read, “Stupid guns, stupid people.”

“We’re here to support control,” Persson told the Washington Blade as she, O’Marra and another classmate, Margo Ogrosky, stood in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Persson, O’Marra and Ogrosky said roughly 50 of their classmates walked out of class on Wednesday to protest for gun control.

“After Florida it’s hard to go to school and feel safe,” Persson told the Blade. “We just want to be assured that that’s not going to happen because it could have easily been us.”

Equality Florida on March 10 honored Emma González — a bisexual student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who is president of its Gay-Straight Alliance — at its annual Miami gala.

González and several of her classmates have emerged as vocal gun control advocates since the massacre at their school. González is also among the organizers of the “March for Our Lives” rally that is scheduled to take place in D.C. on March 24.

Three eighth grade students from Westland Middle School in Bethesda, Md., take part in the National Student Walkout against gun violence rally at the U.S. Capitol on March 14, 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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