No One Walked Out With Him. So This Second-Grader Joined The High Schoolers.

8-year-old Leonardo Aguilar was the only student in his class to participate.

Students across the United States made headlines when they staged a National School Walkout  on March 14 protesting gun violence in the wake of recent school shootings. Much of the media coverage of the event focused on its teenaged participants, however, every protester wasn't of high school age. San Jose, Calif., second-grader Leonardo Aguilar is one grade-schooler who made sure that his voice was also heard in the fight to end gun violence and bring about change.


The precocious 8-year-old, who attends San Jose's Trace Elementary School, was the only student in his class who participated in the demonstration, leaving his classroom and wearing a handmade sign that read "Guns Are Cruel, Not Cool." Aided by his mother, he soon joined the student protesters at nearby Lincoln High School, where he was spotted by KPIX 5 reporter Len Ramirez.

When Ramirez asked him about his participation in the protest, Aguilar gave a pretty straightforward answer. "I'm protesting for the Florida shooting," he told the reporter, according to CBS SF Bay Area. "I made a poster — as you can see — and I came here."

Aguilar, who told Ramirez that he didn't feel safe while at school, also revealed to Ramirez why the issue resonated with him so much. "Because guns are not safe and people get hurt. And teenagers shouldn't bring guns to school," he said.

Though Ramirez was younger than the high schoolers who surrounded him at Lincoln, his thoughts echoed the general concerns of the students involved in the demonstration across the U.S. 

"The people who died in these school shootings — they were kids," Matthew, a student at Brooklyn's Edward R. Murrow high school who participated in the walkout in New York, told A Plus. "Whether they were conservative or liberal they won't get to say their opinions anymore because they're dead. So it shouldn't matter how old you are."

Cover image via Jeffrey J Snyder /

(H/T: The Hill)


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