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'This march wouldn't be happening if people at my school weren't shot dead'

Hundreds of thousands of people are to take part in gun control rallies across the US today.

A student paints a sign that will be carried at the March for Our Lives event in Los Angeles
A student paints a sign that will be carried at the March for Our Lives event in Los Angeles
Image: Mario Tama/Getty Images

HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS from Florida are set to take part in a Washington DC march for gun control organised by fellow teenagers after the massacre at a school in the southern US state.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 14 students and three adults were killed on 14 February, are among those taking part.

‘The World is Changed With Your Actions, Not With Your Opinion,’ read a sign carried by a student waiting to board a flight at Fort Lauderdale airport on Thursday.

Other Parkland students and teenagers from other south Florida high schools have boarded buses for the long drive to the US capital.

The ‘March For Our Lives’ will be held today in Washington and other cities around the US. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend what is being predicted to be the largest-ever demonstration for gun control in the US.

“This is going to be a real moment of change in this country,” student David Allen told 7 News Miami. “I think a decision on gun control is going to be made.”

Carlos Rodriguez, 17, a Stoneman Douglas student who will be at the march, said he had mixed feelings.

“This march wouldn’t be happening if the shooting hadn’t happened at my school so it’ll be difficult,” Rodriguez told AFP.

“But I’ll feel proud to be one of the students who started this movement and to have students from around the country taking part,” he added.

Clear backpacks 

Meanwhile, the Broward County school superintendent has announced that students at Stoneman Douglas and other district schools would only be allowed to use clear backpacks when they return after spring break.

The see-through backpacks will be provided free of cost, superintendent Robert Runcie said in a letter to parents.

Runcie said students and staff will also have to wear ID badges at all times and that the district is considering adding metal detectors at entrances to schools.

The clear backpacks requirement drew a critical response from one Stoneman Douglas student.

“Great. Because clear backpacks are gonna fix everything,” tweeted Lauren Hogg, who has emerged as a leader of the student movement along with her brother David.

“I appreciate the attempt, but I’d rather have common sense gun laws than a clear backpack,” Hogg said.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student, was arrested after opening fire on his former classmates on Valentine’s Day with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle.

Prosecutors have called for the death penalty.

© AFP 2018 

Read: ‘Stop killing us’: Protest over shooting of unarmed black man takes over US motorway

Read: Student shooter dead and two injured in shooting at US high school in Maryland

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