Young students in Florida are demanding more gun regulation, and they are not settling for anything less than being heard. On Tuesday, a thousand high school students left class in order to march to Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School to protest gun violence, memorialize the victims of the recent school shooting, and push lawmakers for change.
The Parkland, Fla., high school was the site of a mass shooting that killed 17 people last week, and teens at neighboring schools walked out of class as a call to action. Many are asking for laws to prevent weapons like the AR-15 used in the mass shooting from being as easily obtained.
The spontaneous protest reportedly started between morning periods at West Boca High School, but it grew until at least 1,000 disregarded their principal and teachers by marching out of the building and through the streets.
After making it 12 miles away from the school, they stood in Parkland, ready to pay their respects and protest.
"Things need to change,” West Boca student Liam Cunicelli said to the Miami Herald. “If all of South Florida, at least, starts protesting about this [then] at least in Florida there might be changes.”
On Tuesday evening a group of survivors of the Marjory Stoneman shooting traveled to Tallahassee by bus to make an appeal at Florida's Capitol. The survivors and supporting protestors held a single message: It is time for action right now. However, when Democrats proposed a bill that would ban assault-type weapons like the AR-15, the House took it off the table.
Florida's students aren't the only ones calling for action either. Walkouts are happening all around the county as high schoolers have taken the call for gun control into their own hands by protesting gun violence on their own.
In Chicago on Wednesday, hundreds of students at Oak Park and River Forest High School walked out of their classrooms while holding banners that demand changes to current gun regulations. The same thing happened in Maryland when three Montgomery County high schools had students walk out.
D.C. students also walked out of school and went to the White House, where local students congregated in protest.
Additionally, two major protests have already been scheduled in March. The Women's March Youth EMPOWER group is planning a 17-minute national school walkout on March 14.
Another march will take place on March 24, called March for Our Lives, and put together by student organizers, including those from Parkland.