Thousands of students from coast to coast walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday to protest gun violence.
The national walkouts happened at 10 a.m. and lasted 17 minutes, one minute for each victim of the massacre at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
More than 700 students at Raytown High School walked out of their building on Wednesday.
Tuesday marks one month since the violent shooting took the lives of 17 people. Raytown students say they wanted to honor those who lost their lives.
Raytown staff and students walked out together, united by one message. They say it’s not about politics, it’s about unity.
Students formed a circle of unity around the school's track and encouraged each person to meet 17 new people, in honor of each person killed during the tragic shooting.
"Really preach the idea of union in Raytown because it’s very diverse community and a very special community that I really like being part of and I’d like to see all come together for this one event," Raytown High School student Andrew Romero added.
I was afraid because I thought, well, I didn’t think this was a big issue and now that it’s become more common I was thinking, 'What can I do?' And then we had a threat come to our school and I saw my peers afraid and I didn’t like it and I was really afraid," Raytown High School student Ligia Valencia said.
The student's message supports the Never Again movement, standing in solidarity with the Florida victims.
“Unfortunately, we can’t change laws immediately so we’re going to work on stopping bullying and violence in schools, so that’s the message we’re sending, it’s unification and love,” Raytown High School student Iliana Miller said. "A message of unity and love in a time where society is so divisive in politics we’re going to stray away from the actual political matter as much as possible and focus on what we can start doing now."
Principal Chad Bruton says he sent parents a formal notice about the walkout. He says he fully supports it.
“I think it’s important for students to put the things they put into school into action,” Burton said. “We’re not just educating them with information, we’re making citizens out of them.”
Superintendent Dr. Allan Markley also encouraged students to express themselves.
Students say the walkout is the kind of community they need to make a change.
Other metro schools also participated in Wednesday’s walkout.
Raytown High School walked out of class at 9:45 a.m.
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