About 10 students left Ohio's West Liberty-Salem High School - which witnessed a shooting a year ago - despite a warning they could face detention or more serious discipline. "You are doing what our generation has failed to do. It's a schoolwide issue we all want to take seriously".
At 10 a.m., students at some high schools placed 17 empty desks in the hallways as a memorial to those died on February 14. They will do something not just to end the mass school shootings that make headlines across the country, but the deaths, both accidental and deliberate, that generate only a few lines of type in the local newspaper. Assistant principal Dan Lee stood with the students during the 17-minute walkout, during which temperatures hovered around the freezing point and the wind blew strong.
In joining the protests, the students followed the example set by numerous survivors of the Florida shooting, who have become gun-control activists, leading rallies, lobbying legislators and giving TV interviews.
"I'm proud this is what my first detention is for", said Adelusimo, 17.
"The Hollidaysburg Walkout was a huge success", Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School senior Ryan Gupta said. I started a Facebook page and an Instagram page and followed everyone at school. "After that, word traveled quickly".
Florence School District One students participated in the National Walkout Day. Alvarado said he has siblings in lower grades in the state which made this cause one he could not ignore.
"Many people think the protest was to protest guns and ban guns". In Massachusetts, Georgia and OH, students headed to their respective statehouses to lobby for new gun regulations.
"Our problem is we're just very concerned about security for kids, and if there is a walkout, that presents a real problem for us", Morgan concluded.
"I felt like if I stayed in the classroom, it was going to look like I was for it, like it was okay, and if I walked out, I was going to get in trouble", said the student. They are leading the way, and they are not going to go away.
Each school plans to offer a different take on the event.
In Akron, Ohio, hundreds of students wearing orange t-shirts with black targets on the front walked out of Firestone High School. "Plenty of people I know use those rifles every day in their work". "They took it seriously". Eventually, she drummed up enough attention to draw a small press crowd to the walkout.
"I think our safety is important, and if money from the NRA is more important than our safety, then I think we really need to see policy change and see a change in how Washington think about how we feel", sophomore Alexandria Young said.
Teachers, seeing how their students reacted to the Parkland shooting in particular, realized that even if there wasn't a scheduled walkout, some may have tried to protest regardless.
"Since the walkout in the Cumberland County Schools was neither encouraged nor discouraged and our goal was to ensure the supervision of students' safety, we are uncertain as to how many schools had students to participate", a spokesperson for Cumberland County Schools said in a statement.
"Social media played a huge role", Skolar said. He told The Post-Journal that one of messages he relayed to students during the demonstration was to be nice to each other.
Time limits, parental permission and administrative presence, Woodbury High School Junior Lemuel Samuel said, deviated from the initial goal of the walkout.
One parent reached out to News 18 after he dropped his daughter off at school.
"Social media gives us a voice", Alvarado said. "I ask you to stick with us and keep pushing us over the weeks to come". At Elizabeth, the principal required students to bring a signed permission slip stating their intent to leave and officials set up an assembly featuring speeches by state Sen.
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