Apex students talk walkout, gun violence at town hall

ByJosh Chapin via WTVD logo
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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The meeting took place at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex.

APEX, NC (WTVD) -- Students across the country, including here in the Triangle - plan on walking out of school Wednesday to honor the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month. The walkout also is intended to press lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws.

On Tuesday night, students, parents and community leaders spoke about the walkout in addition to having a town-hall style meeting about what's going on across the country.

The meeting took place at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex and was organized in part by Blue Lights College.

"Every time an incident like this happens, we yell that it's not time to talk about gun laws," said Eva Pecora, a junior at Apex Friendship High School. "But I feel like this incident, in particular, is the last straw."

Pecora was one of a handful of students who participated.

"My focus is on mental illness," said another high school student. "Just because you have a gun does not automatically make you dangerous."

Students told ABC11 the walkout should last between 10 a.m. and 10:17 a.m. Wednesday - one minute to honor every life lost.

"This is about standing up for change and all of our students here will be doing that Wednesday," said Jacques Gilbert, captain at the Apex Police Department and president of Blue Lights College.

Parents and students dialogued with security experts and local law enforcement.

"I hope that there are a few of us other than ourselves that actually feel passionate about stuff like this and realize this could happen to us and any other school around us and we should take measures to change that," said Pecora.

The school resource officer said there will be more officers patrolling around the Apex schools participating in the walkout just as a precaution.