STOCKTON — Hundreds of young people who say they just want to feel safe at their schools asked for parents and lawmakers to make a change Friday in Stockton.
From a distance, it started off as a quiet demonstration at Edison High School. But, in moments, students grew louder, their message stronger.
“No more guns.”
The high schoolers were asking for gun control and said they’re heartbroken each time someone their age is killed during a school shooting.
“We want to stop the violence,” said Edison High School student Aliah Moncrease. “We can’t have an education when all this violence in school is going on… all this school shooting.”
“Innocent kids that have dreams and don’t live them because they die because of gun violence,” said student Anna Hernandez.
Stagg and Lincoln students also walked off campus.
There were some unruly kids at Edison.
Some tried to jump the locked fence. Across the city, a cluster of patrol cars had to corral students back to class at Stagg.
Stockton police report multiple students jumped on occupied cars. Some threw rocks at cars, including police vehicles. A person told FOX40 protesters were throwing trash at police officers.
At least four juveniles and one 18-year-old were arrested, all on suspicion of battery on an officer. The 18-year-old was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail.
Officers were also called to several malls, where students were “causing a disturbance,” according to the police department. Around 100 students left a mall at one point, continuing a shorter protest at March Lane and Pacific Avenue.
“We all agreed to have it be a peaceful protest that way we can get our point across,” said a protester.
Organizers said those kids were not part of their demonstration.
“ We just want to protest. We weren’t going to steal anything,” said Jordan Decasas. “We just came to protest. That’s it.”
As the day wore on a police officer spoke to the kids to keep them off the roadways and away from harm.
For the young people — the future leaders — they just wanted to be heard.
“A lot of people want to say, ‘Oh what does a protest do? It doesn’t do anything,'” said Jalen Isiah Hodges from Lincoln High School. “Well, it brings awareness. A lot of people don’t take young people seriously but we’re the future.”
The Stockton Unified School District released a statement saying they were proud of the peaceful protests but they do not agree with some of the disruptive behavior caused by some.