US Survivor of California Christmas massacre is joining walkout

02:35  14 march  2018
02:35  14 march  2018 Source:   Associated Press

Sister of South Carolina mass shooter arrested on weapons charges

  Sister of South Carolina mass shooter arrested on weapons charges The sister of avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to die for the 2015 massacre at a historic South Carolina black church, was arrested on Wednesday for carrying weapons at a high school, media said. Morgan Roof, 18, was carrying a knife and pepper spray, as well as marijuana, at a school in Columbia, S.C., the Post and Courier and other media reported.The arrest came on the morning of a protest walkout by thousands of students nationwide to demand gun law reform in the wake of a Florida mass shooting that killed 14 students and 3 teachers a month ago.

LOS ANGELES — Katrina Yuzefpolsky was 8 when a man dressed as Santa Claus shot her in the face and killed nine of her family members with guns and a homemade flamethrower at a Christmas Eve party in Southern California.

Students plan abortion protest after debate on walkout

  Students plan abortion protest after debate on walkout Students at a California high school are organizing an anti-abortion rights protest that was inspired by the recent nationwide student walkout for gun control. Rocklin High School student Brandon Gillespie tells KOVR-TV he wants to "honor all the lives of aborted babies" with the protest.He says the idea was prompted by history teacher Julianne Benzel. She was placed on administrative leave when she asked students to consider whether there was a double standard over protests on school grounds between gun control and abortion.


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More than nine years later, Katrina is 17 and joining a growing number of teenagers who have survived gun violence and are demanding change to weapons laws. She and students across California and the U.S. are walking out of their schools for 17 minutes on Wednesday — each minute representing a victim of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Katrina and her close friend created a video to help spread the word about the walkout at their school in Pasadena, telling peers that it's their "duty to stand together as a generation to demand change."

"I've lived through it, and I'm still living my life as best as I can," she said. "It's not stopping me, it's not instilling fear in me. I want that change. I don't want other families to go through what me and my family went through."

At a school in North Carolina, he was the only one of 700 students who walked out

  At a school in North Carolina, he was the only one of 700 students who walked out At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Justin Blackman got up from his desk and calmly walked out of Mr. Mendez's Spanish class. When he got outside, he discovered he was the only one. Of the approximately 700 students at Wilson Preparatory Academy in Wilson, North Carolina, 16-year-old Justin was in a company of one during the national school walkout. For 17 minutes, he said he stood by himself. He said he was disappointed no one joined him. Earlier in the morning, the teen spoke with classmates about the walkout, but they didn't seem to know about it, he said. Undeterred, when the time came, he stepped out by himself.

Katrina was the first one shot when her aunt's ex-husband, Bruce Pardo, burst into her grandparents' home on Christmas Eve in 2008. He immediately began shooting, then used the flamethrower to torch the house in Covina, 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

Pardo killed his ex-wife, who had recently divorced him, and eight of her relatives. He killed himself shortly afterward.

Katrina underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments and close the wound in her cheek that she got before escaping.

Her mother, Leticia Yuzefpolsky — who also escaped the massacre with her other daughter — has worked to make life as normal as possible for her girls and for her niece, whom she adopted after the girl's mother died in the attack.

She has tried to teach the girls not to give power to their family's killer, to continue celebrating Christmas, to associate Santa with good things, and to honor their loved ones by living life with purpose.

Her school vowed no penalty for the school walkout. Her teacher gave her an 'F' anyway

  Her school vowed no penalty for the school walkout. Her teacher gave her an 'F' anyway A Los Gatos, Calif., math and science teacher says the U.S. Constitution justifies his decision to fail a student on a quiz for leaving class Wednesday for the National School Walkout, despite earlier promises from the superintendent and principal that students would not be punished for participating. Load Error "When a publicly funded school promotes one side of a highly divisive political issue, we undermine the very constitution that protects the right we so cherish," David Kissner, a math and science teacher at C.T. English Middle School, told The Mercury News on Sunday.

Katrina, a junior in high school, is doing just that. She loves playing softball and wants to keep it up in college while she studies business. She plans on going to an elite school, possibly Harvard or Amherst.

She tries not to sweat life's little irritations.

"I remind myself, 'I'm OK. These are minor details in my life. I will get through it,'" Katrina said. "I've survived being shot in the face, shot in the cheek, losing my family. A test is not going to break me."

Recently, she has been inspired by teenage survivors of the Florida shooting and their determination to effect change even though plenty of adults don't think they should have a say in the discussion over gun laws.

When her friend Bella Marez — also Pasadena's 100th Rose Queen — came up with an idea to make a video spreading the word about the walkouts, she immediately asked for Katrina's help.

"I really want our generation to wake up and say, 'We can make things happen and make long-lasting change,'" Bella said.

Katrina said the video and walkout have become part of her healing process.

"I know my family — my angels — are here watching me," she said. "They're seeing I'm finally going to make a difference and stand up for something that needs to be changed. I'm fighting for them."


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Missouri high school students marked truant, punished for participating in walkout: report .
Students at a Kansas City, Mo. high school who participated in a walkout to protest gun violence on Wednesday were marked truant and punished. Only about 200 of Park Hill High School's 2,000-person student body participated in the walkout as part of a larger series of student-led protests organized across the country, Fox 4 News in Kansas City reported.But students were warned against doing so by teachers. Those that did participate were greeted by teachers in the school's hallways when they returned.

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