Medford students walked out of class Friday, March 3, 2018, to protest violence in schools.

Medford students walked out of class Friday, March 3, 2018, to protest violence in schools.

Jamie Lusch/Medford Mail Tribune

More than 100 Medford students protesting for gun control and school safety left their classrooms Friday to gather at U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s local office, with some walking about three miles one way in below-freezing temperatures to get there.

“We should be able to feel safe at school,” said Sara Klott, a senior at St. Mary’s School.

Students across the country have been organizing marches and walkouts in response to a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. Locally, most of those protesting say they were inspired by the survivors of the Parkland shooting, who have been calling for change, including organizing a “March For Our Lives” on March 24 to demand action on gun accessibility and school safety.

As the word spread through social media about today’s walkout, which originated at North Medford High School, students from three Medford high schools joined in to help shape it. They wanted to do cheers. They wanted to help their classmates register to vote. They wanted to talk specific ideas for legislative reform with Amy Amrhein, Merkley’s field representative for Southern Oregon.

Read the full story at the Medford Mail Tribune.