Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Students Walk Out of Classes, Hold Moment of Silence for Sante Fe Shooting Victims

Hundreds of students at a Massachusetts high school walked out of classes on Monday and held a moment of silence in honor of the 10 victims killed in Friday's shooting in Sante Fe, Texas.

The walkout at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School was held at 9:25 a.m. for 10 minutes — one minute for each victim killed in the massacre. Once outside, students got into a crouched position to remember the victims.

Eight students and two substitute teachers were killed on Friday when another student opened fire at Sante Fe High School. The 17-year-old suspect has been jailed on capital murder charges.

"When I saw what happened, I had a very neutral reaction because it’s just been happening so frequently, to the point where I’ve become desensitized," Cambridge Rindge and Latin junior Eloise Botka said.

Monday's walkout, organized by Students Against Gun Violence, is to push lawmakers for gun control.

"In America, this is a really important issue. It affects people everywhere," said junior Hernello Kebede.

Many adults are also having a hard time processing the violence.

"It's like an average of once a week now, and it's crazy," said Fox Bolton of Somerville. "I don't know how to have a positive impact on what's going on. It's just simply overwhelming."

"When you see photographs of people so devastated in the newspapers, it's hard to believe anybody could become desensitized to that," said Leita Luchetti of Cambridge.

But Dr. Martha Tompson, an associate professor of psychology at Boston University, says it's actually a normal response known as a "habituation process."

"When you are exposed to something repeatedly," she explained, "you become sort of accustomed to it."

Tompson added that people also experience something called "learned helplessness."

"It's like kids who grow up in war-torn countries, and they learn to expect bombings and they learn to expect death," she said.

Before classes Monday, the Cambridge students wrote the names of the Sante Fe victims as well as others who have lost their lives to gun violence in chalk outside the school.

Students Against Gun Violence protested twice in March, a couple weeks after a gunman killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The students weren’t alive when the shootings at Columbine occurred but have come to understand the problem better than most and say that's why they are advocating for gun reform laws.

"It been a pressing issue since before I was born, and unfortunately it’s taking two school shootings to raise awareness about it," said junior Jonathan Matsko.

In addition to the walkout, organizers have been holding voter registration drives in hopes of getting elected leaders to stand up and take notice on pressing issues like gun reform.

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