More than 100 teenagers at Rocky River High School joined thousands of their fellow students across Ohio Wednesday who observed 17 minutes of silence in honor of the victims of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. Some schools also participated in alternative forms of protest, including letter-writing campaigns, poetry readings and 17-minute "walk ins" or "walk ups" to give students a chance to initiate conversation about gun violence.
While the walkout is a show of solidarity with their fallen peers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, these students are fighting for a much bigger cause: gun control reform, especially when it comes to military-grade assault weapons, like the one used in Parkland.
Students at Douglas Freeman High School plan to continue demonstrations on April 20th, which happens to be the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School.
Telynia Grenfell-Lee at the Macomber Center in Framingham Photo/Telynia Grenfell-LeeA message from a Shrewsbury High School student. photo/Syra PandeyNotes of love and respect from Shrewsbury High School students. "We look forward to welcoming students back tomorrow for a great day of teaching and learning". Attendance was taken and if students were outside demonstrating, they were marked as absent. Students held a "kindness" rally inside the school gymnasium where they encouraged everyone to show kindness, compassion and, most importantly, inclusion.
"It was scary a year ago when we thought we actually had a shooter on campus and we all had to go on lockdown and we didn't know for at least 20 minutes if there was an actual shooter".
A freshman, who asked to not be identified, said she participated in the walkout because children shouldn't be in fear of going to school.
Stranges said he discussed the walkout with the staff at Hayes and said students shouldn't be punished for walking out of class to participate. "Then we had a moment of silence together to honor them", she said.
Students said they were attempting another protest, later on Thursday. "Let's remove it from the White House, from Capitol Hill, and remove it from all of Hollywood", National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre stated, following the Florida high school shooting.
In Colorado, one student held a sign to commemorate the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting, while another's simply said, "I'm scared".
At North Bend High School a group of around 20 students stood on the corner of 14th Street and Pacific Street and held signs that read "Safe Schools Now".
"Regardless of how old we are, we have a voice", Diaz said.
Antioch High School received a lot of backlash after videos circulated on social media showing students taking down the American flag and fighting inside the hallways during Wednesday's protest.
"We definitely need stricter gun laws", added another student.