Students in Uvalde protest gun violence on National School Walkout Day

Students Demand Action urged students, staff and others to join in on National School Walkout Day

UVALDE – Students in Uvalde are joining thousands of people nationwide in protesting gun violence in America.

The organization, Students Demand Action, urged students, staff and others to join in on National School Walkout Day to bring attention to shootings and gun control.

The protest comes nearly a year after an 18-year-old gunman walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde CISD and killed 19 students and two teachers.

Since the May 24 tragedy, victims’ relatives and supporters have made several calls on the local, state and federal levels for lawmakers to enact sensible gun laws.

Gary Patterson, the interim superintendent, said the district was aware of the national walkouts and intended to allow students to participate.

However, parents of students at Flores Elementary School said students weren’t allowed to leave or they would face possible repercussions, like a three-day suspension.

Parents protest gun violence outside Flores Elementary School in Uvalde CISD on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. (ksat)

Parents who were protesting outside Flores Elementary School told a KSAT crew that administrators were keeping the kids inside the auditorium and gym.

A handful of parents went inside the school and signed their kids out, but that would count as an absence, parents said. Because of black tape on windows, kids couldn’t see their parents protesting outside.

Students at Uvalde walk out of school in national protest of gun violence (KSAT)
AJ Martinez, a survivor of the Robb Elementary School shooting, was pulled out of school by his mother on National School Walkout Day, Wednesday, April 5, 2023. (KSAT)

A group of middle and high school students was seen gathering at a plaza in Uvalde.

UCISD told KSAT that each individual principal was able to decide how to handle the walkouts and if their students could leave.

In an email on Tuesday, Patterson said that the district wanted to be “sensitive to this issue.” He said the district was going to allow a “controlled walkout” from noon to 1 p.m.

The following letter was released by Patterson on Tuesday:

To Our Uvalde CISD Parents,

The district administration has been made aware of a social media call for a student walkout on Wednesday, April 5th, at noon to draw attention to gun control safety. We intend to be sensitive to this issue and allow the students to participate in a controlled walkout from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

These students will not be allowed off campus or outside the fence at any time. The students may gather in the courtyard or the gyms depending on weather conditions and principal discretion. Students participating in the walkout will be responsible for missed class work. At 1:00 pm, the students will be asked to return to their class to complete the rest of the day.

Safety continues to be our top priority, and ensuring our students' safety outside of our secure fenced area is challenging. Media can be expected to be present around the perimeter of our campuses. We want to protect our students' and faculty’s rights by shielding them from media cameras.

Please contact your school's administration if you have any questions or concerns relating to the anticipated events of the day.

Gary Patterson

Interim Superintendent

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.

Andrew Wilson is a digital journalist and social media producer at KSAT.