Philadelphia Students March Against Gun Violence

Zach Gibson  Getty Images

Zach Gibson Getty Images

Keene says the number one priority for her and other students is changing gun laws and adding stricter policies, such as universal background checks.

Parents of students who walked out in St. Johns County told News4Jax they were glad the district gave their children an opportunity to participate. According to the district, less than 20 students walked out at South Oldham High School. Then rather than staying inside as the district requested, the students marched out the front doors and lined the sidewalk along Pershing Boulevard to demonstrate.

Students filled the streets of New York City and gathered in central locations like Brooklyn's Prospect Park (see above), and Manhattan's Columbus Circle, Battery Park and Lincoln Center. "There are all these kids in OH, kids everywhere, they are doing it for them", said Anderson.

Thousands of Philadelphia students walked out of classrooms this past Wednesday, joining a nationwide protest against gun violence in schools. All I can hope for is that my words bring emotion to people, like art. "They're people with stories and lives and families and friends", said Daphne Maki, a senior at Houghton High School.

Morrison said after several days their hands hurt, "but we felt it was important to reach out and let the students know we care about them".

"It's really weird, I guess, mostly because the past weeks it's been really sad just hearing about everything that's going on".

Students were happy with the level of turnout for a small school.

"I chose not to walk out, because I think all voices deserve to be heard", said Tatie Bright, a senior at South Oldham High School.

Organizers said almost 3,000 walkouts were planned in the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism that has emerged following the massacre.

The walkout itself went smoothly for the most part, although Reed said there were some who he said were disrespectful, preferring to talk to each other or on their cell phones annoying the people around them. She said it was being sponsored by Wyoming Rising-Northwest.

"Seventeen minutes is a long time, but 17 victims is far too many", DeVries said. A small group of faculty members stood with law enforcement and watched to make sure students were able to protest safely.

For 17 minutes, he said he stood by himself. A spokesperson said it was not mandatory and it was organized by students. "And I think that's one of the biggest differences this time".

"These kids were there because they wanted to be there and they were very aware of the possible repercussions", Chrusciel said. Emma Gonzalez and all the other Douglas kids have shown us that we have a voice even if we don't have a vote yet.

"We must be advocates for all of those every day who lose their lives to gun violence", said LMCAS president, Marco McMullen.

Students at Booker T. Washington High School were placed on a "soft" lockdown to prevent visitors from entering the school.

"The day that it has to be passed by is April, so that's why we're out here now".

A bright spot, if any, that can come from the tragedy has been students' discourse with one another and being open to varying points of view, she said. "When it happens, we follow the same behavior and safety guidelines for all students involved".

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