The effort was meant as a symbolic statement about gun violence on school campuses. Those who attended the rally at South Park after the 17-minute walkout were asked to follow the district's usual absence reporting procedures, which mandates that parents must notify the school of their student's excused absence.
For one hour on Friday the halls of Rock Island High School were quiet.
From Brown's Island, the participants marched through downtown Richmond to the Virginia State Capitol to have their collective voices heard in front of lawmakers like Gov. Ralph Northam and Chris Hurst, the fiance of Alison Parker - the journalist shot and killed on live television.
Students say they want to go to school to learn and not have to think about violence. "We did something really good today", Leopold said. Some students were upset they weren't going to be walking out.
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According to a release, she was inspired by the National School Walkout that occurred on March 14. "We don't want the pressure to be taken off this issue", said student Terrie Briggs. There was a voter sign-up drive for those who are eligible and organizers also accepted donations for the non-profit, Everytown for Gun Safety. "A lot of people think the point of what we are doing.is to keep them inside", Caballero said, "but we are giving them a bigger chance to speak up".
Among the talking points for Alvarado, Roach and other protesters, they seek an increase to the age limit for firearms purchases, universal background checks, and a ban on bump stocks and extended magazines.
Aside from protests and rallies, the group also plans to call state representatives, will coordinate an email campaigns, and seeks to foster conversation with fellow students and the wider community.
Local 24 obtained the student's Snapchat post showing a gun and the message "people mess with me and now it's time for me to strike back". We wondered if our presence might have an impact in initiating future dialogue from both sides. I should have to worry about my grades.