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Thousands Of High School Students Walked Out Of Class To Protest Gun Violence

The National School Walkout is happening on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

Last updated on April 20, 2018, at 4:16 p.m. ET

Posted on April 20, 2018, at 12:53 p.m. ET

Thousands of high school students around the country walked out of class Friday morning for the National School Walkout aimed at preventing gun violence.

The event was held on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, in which 13 people were killed.Students from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, marched to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, joining other schools protesting outside the White House.Over 2,600 school walkouts happened Friday, at least one event in every state, organizers said. Most were taking place at 10 a.m. local time and included a moment of silence for the victims of school shootings.The movement's website explains the reason for the protest: "We are walking out for those who lost their lives to gun violence, to talk about the real problems our country is facing, and to find solutions the problems that our leaders have failed to address."
Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

The event was held on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, in which 13 people were killed.

Students from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, marched to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, joining other schools protesting outside the White House.

Over 2,600 school walkouts happened Friday, at least one event in every state, organizers said. Most were taking place at 10 a.m. local time and included a moment of silence for the victims of school shootings.

The movement's website explains the reason for the protest: "We are walking out for those who lost their lives to gun violence, to talk about the real problems our country is facing, and to find solutions the problems that our leaders have failed to address."

Students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a shooter killed 17 people on Feb. 14, joined in the walkout — including David Hogg, one of the founders of the #NeverAgain movement.

Hogg, like many of the protesters today, is wearing orange, the color of the anti–gun violence movement.
Terry Spencer / AP

Hogg, like many of the protesters today, is wearing orange, the color of the anti–gun violence movement.

Hogg tweeted a video of students sitting on the ground in the school courtyard during the protest.

#NationalSchoolWalkout at Stoneman Douglas HS https://t.co/FmaCwFKte2

Another leader in the #NeverAgain movement, Emma González, was not at Stoneman Douglas HS today for the walkout, but tweeted her support of the protest.

I walked out so far I ended up in NY !❤️ Remembering Columbine today in our moments of silence, in servicing our communities, and in loving each other. Orange is the color for gun violence survivors, and we wear it today in solidarity of one another. https://t.co/9SFSACvMlb

Students at Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, posted a video on Snapchat as they walked out of class at 10 a.m. and led chants of "the NRA has got to go, hey hey, ho ho."

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In New York City, thousands of students from across the city protested at Washington Square Park, with dozens of speeches from activists and victims of gun violence.

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Columbine High School shooting survivor Amalia Fernand spoke about dealing with survivor's guilt and the long-term impact of gun violence. "The Columbine massacre shocked the world. Today, American mass shootings seem nearly commonplace," she said.

Columbine survivor Amalia Fernand has a powerful message for students protesting gun violence on the 19th anniversary of the school shooting. https://t.co/as4qTyp9jh

Several Parkland students addressed the New York protest, calling on the crowd to address gun violence in different communities.

"Every time a young person speaks their mind or questions the status quo, we do this country a service," Parkland survivor Isabelle Robinson told high school students at today's walkouts to protest gun violence. https://t.co/hsd6HIqxAM

"No student should have to hide under their classmate’s body to be here today, but I was that student," said Aalayah Eastmond, who had hid under the body of student Nicholas Dworet, who died during the shooting.

"Not only am I here to speak about school shootings but the urban communities that have been speaking about this way before Feb. 14, 2017," added Eastmond.

In Canton, Michigan, hundreds of students from Salem High School, Canton High School, and Plymouth High School (the three schools make up the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park) walked out of class and sat on the school's football field.

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A group of Canton students then sang a song to commemorate the Columbine shooting.

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In Detroit, hundreds of students participated in the walkout.

Walkout in Detroit goes as far as the eye can see. #NationalSchoolWalkout

And at McKinney North High School in McKinney, Texas, students posted on Snapchat as they walked out of class.

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In Houston, hundreds of students joined in a "die-in" protest.

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Students in Portland, Oregon, also held a rally, attended by dozens.

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Hundreds of students at Tampa Bay Tech in Tampa, Florida, chanted, "Enough is enough."

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Dozens poured out of classes at Katella High School in Anaheim, California.

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Students also joined in the National School Walkout at Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

#NationalSchoolWalkout in Louisville-metro area: a crowd of @atherton_high students has gathered near the student parking lot. Are you seeing another walkout? Let me know! https://t.co/cav3NR47dL

At Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas, students chanted, "Gun control."

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At San Antonio's Lee High School, students had 17 minutes silence for the 17 victims of the Parkland massacre.

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And it wasn't just high schools. Sutton Middle School, in Atlanta, had a protest in their school gymnasium.

Power in Protest. #NationalSchoolWalkout

At Coon Rapids Middle School in Minnesota, students gave speeches about gun violence.

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