The Latest: Hundreds of Aztec students gather for ‘walk-up’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Latest on the nationwide student walkout in New Mexico: (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Hundreds of students at a New Mexico high school still reeling from a deadly shooting in December gathered Wednesday to remember the 21 students who have died in school shootings across the U.S. in recent months, including two of their own.

Student leaders at Aztec High School had asked administrators for time to “walk up” rather than walk out. Many students donned the school colors and one held a sign that read “Time for Change.”

Jesse Smith was among the crowd. The 17-year-old senior said the event was not about protesting for gun safety but rather for honoring the students who have died and setting the stage for what he called a positive movement.

Part of that movement at Aztec includes 21 pledges that range from taking the time to make new friends and including students who are alone to talking with family and writing to congressional representatives.

11:30 a.m.

Thousands of students in Albuquerque have walked out of schools to join national demonstrations to protest gun violence.

Around 300 students at La Cueva High School in an affluent neighborhood participated in the nationwide walkouts Wednesday. Students there held a 17-second moment of silence for the victims of last month’s massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Junior Ruth Clark says it was important for students join the conversation about school violence and push policies to make school safe. The 16-year-old Clark told classmates the adults have a responsibility to keep school safe and pass measures to regulate some weapons.

12:20 a.m.

Some New Mexico high school students are expected to join a national call to walk out of class to protest gun violence.

Students in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Rio Rancho are scheduled Wednesday to participate in a walkout for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 people killed during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Meanwhile, students at Aztec High School asked administrators if they could gather around the flagpole Wednesday to honor those killed in Florida and two Aztec classmates killed by a school shooting in December.

Aztec High School also will be kicking off a campaign to engage students and bolster school safety in a rural community where some are pushing to train and arm willing teachers.

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