[Editor: I received this from a Benicia resident who has been in Benicia longer than me: “…Benicia High School students were victims of gun violence, back in the 80s….A jealous ex-boyfriend came on campus and shot his ex-girlfriend in front of everybody. The entire town felt the trauma for many months. The fear and anger are legitimate.” – RS]
Those whose parents phoned the school in advance were granted an excused absence. Others were given an unexcused “cut.”
The large contingent marched up Military West, chanting and carrying signs, and accompanied by a Benicia police escort.
Many observers thought they would stop at City Park, but the students continued down Benicia’s main commercial strip, First Street, and gathered near the Carquinez Strait at Marina Green.
There, students created a group poster, registered to vote and cheered for speeches given by their peers.
No one can remember a time in Benicia’s history when students left school in these numbers for a protest.