Report: Students to rally in Toms River in response to Florida shooting

A group holds signs reading, “Guns Down Test Scores Up” during a protest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

A group holds signs reading, “Guns Down Test Scores Up” during a protest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Students are set to rally in Ocean County Monday in response to a mass shooting last week that left 17 dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, according to a published report.

Toms River Patch first reported the planned rally, which is set for noon in front of the Ocean County Library on Washington Street in Toms River.

Area schools are closed Monday in observation of President’s Day.

Thousands of angry students, parents, teachers and neighbors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School demanded Saturday that immediate action be taken on gun-control legislation, insisting they would not relent until their demands were met.

The rallies in Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg, Florida gave a political outlet to the growing feelings of rage and mourning sparked by the carnage.

Authorities say a former student who had been expelled, had mental health issues and been reported to law enforcement, used a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle to kill students and staff.

Student Emma Gonzalez told the crowd politicians should stop taking donations from the National Rifle Association. “Shame on you,” she yelled, and the crowd repeated her.

“A lot of people are saying that these kids are activists, these kids need to be politicians,” she later told a reporter. “But a lot of us are just other students who figured there’s strength in numbers. And we want to be sure that we end up having our message sent across. And then we can get back to our normal everyday lives, you know.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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