Following shooting outside of school, Rufus King students protest gun violence, call for mental health support
Rufus King students shaken by a shooting outside of their school earlier this week held a walkout at the end of the school day Friday.
The students called for an end to gun violence and for changes within Milwaukee Public Schools.
Five people were wounded in the shooting outside of King. It took place Tuesday night during a basketball game against Washington High School. Milwaukee Police say the violence was sparked by a dispute on Facebook.
The suspect in the shooting, a 34-year-old man, turned himself in to authorities Friday, according to police.
King student Donovan Clark said he was playing bass guitar in the pep band during the basketball game when the shooting happened.
"It was definitely a shocking experience," Clark said. "I definitely have to give credit to staff and teachers who were at the game, because the incident itself didn't occur inside the building and they did a great job of keeping everyone safe who was in the gym."
Clark and other students said no Rufus King students were involved in the altercation.
The walkout was organized by King's student government association. In addition to denouncing gun violence, sophomore class president Mia Moore called on MPS to improve its response to violent incidents on school grounds. She said there should have been additional counselors available to students the day after the shooting, and that communication from administrators has been insufficient.
"We all deserve to feel protected and safe at school," Moore said. "We demand more from our school board members and administrators. We demand that you fund for expansion of Violence-Free Zones, funding for mental health support for youth and young adults who have experienced violence, loss or depression. People should not have to hurt themselves or others before they get the support they need."
MPS is holding a town hall Monday at 5 p.m. for Rufus King families. Superintendent Keith Posley and school board vice president Sequanna Taylor will be there. Families can register at https://mpsmke.com/kingtownhall and can contact the school directly at (414) 267-0700 with questions about the event.
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