NEW YORK — Across the country, as well as across the tri-state region and all over New York City, students walked out of school by the thousands to call for stricter gun laws, and to call for an end to gun violence.
In Brooklyn, the morning protests were topped off with a rally designed to provide practical applications for students' frustration and energy.
Just as they had planned for a couple of weeks, students at thousands of schools nationwide exited their campuses at the stroke of 10 a.m. Wednesday.
On hand to support students at Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, Brooklyn, was Mayor Bill de Blasio. On scene, and in the middle of the crowd, at two schools across the street from Zuccotti Park in the Financial District was Governor Andrew Cuomo. Both men, however, mostly let the students -- who'd coordinated all of the protests -- do the talking.
"Everyone assumes that all we're really preocuppied with is our cellphones," said Christie Oreste, a senior and student organizer at Murrow High School, about people in her generation. "Nobody really thinks we have any thoughts and views on anything. So to have such a large outcome of people is very exciting and very surprising."
There were chants and signs that voiced frustration at every school where students walked out for 17 minutes at each campus. However, in Prospect Park on Wednesday afternoon, there was an after school rally designed to put words to action. Young people came out by the hundreds even in the cold.
At the venue were voter registration booths and letter-writing assistance tables, complete with large posters listing the names and office addresses of federal elected officials who've taken the most money from the NRA.
The event was organized by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "You're angry about this," Adams said in an interview, referring to the passion of the students who came to the rally. "Now let's show you how to fix it."
The protests were scheduled to mark one month since the shootings in Parkland, Florida. A national march on Washington to highlight the issue is being organized for March 24.