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Small number of Sayreville students walk out after disciplinary threats

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SAYREVILLE -

Only a small number of Sayreville High School students participated in a nationwide student school walkout to protest gun violence after school officials threatened disciplinary action.

News 12 New Jersey spoke with one of the students who walked out, 15-year-old Rosa Rodriguez.

“I don’t care if I get suspended,” Rodriguez said.

MORE: Bayonne High School students stage walkout to protest gun violence

Several parents were outside the school to cheer Rodriguez on for her decision.

Most of the Sayreville student body opted to stay in their classroom or gathered in the school’s auditorium for the 17-minute walkout.

“I said I want to go outside; still show I care and everything like that,” said Rodriguez.

Dozens of schools across New Jersey participated in the walkout. Several of the schools supported the students’ decision, with teachers and school administrators also participating.

Some Sayreville parents told News 12 that they do not support the district’s decision to penalize students for participating in a nationwide effort.

"I think we missed a real great opportunity here to show that a town…like Sayreville supports its youth and is concerned about what’s happening to urban and suburban America,” said parent Tom Carne.

The New Jersey chapter of the ACLU sent a letter to school administrators expressing their dismay that the district would stifle the students’ free speech. 

The ACLU is urging any student who faced disciplinary action for walking out of school to contact them.

The nationwide walkout was organized in response to the school shooting at Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed in that shooting.

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