Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of a deadly school shooting last week that left 17 dead, met with Florida lawmakers this week to lobby for tighter gun laws. At the same time, thousands of their peers began staging school walkouts in solidarity, saying they no longer feel safe in their classrooms.

Many of the students chanted, “We want change!” Others held signs with messages reading “Protect kids, not guns” and “I want to grow up.”

At St. Cloud Middle School in Central Florida, students walked out for 17 minutes — one minute for each victim.

STANDING WITH #PARKLAND: Students at #StCloud Middle (@Osceolaschools) walk out for 17 minutes – 1 minute for each victim. We were there. Story on @WESH at noon.

— Hadas Brown (@HadasBrownWESH) February 21, 2018

Some students from Hialeah, Florida took their walkouts all the way to city hall:

PHOTO: Hialeah Senior High students making signs for the walkout (pic: @Nila_bruhh)

— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) February 21, 2018

Champagnat Catholic School students marching to Hialeah City Hall (vid: @Itslildx3)

— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) February 21, 2018

Hundreds of students in Weston, Florida, just 20 miles from Parkland, flooded their school’s football field.

LIVE: Students in Weston, Florida, walk out of classes to protest gun violence in wake of the Parkland school shooting

— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 21, 2018

And in nearby Coral Springs, students gathered on the football field to form a giant heart, visible from above.

Wow.Chopper 6 shows students at Coral Springs High students forming a heart in the field holding emotional signs. @nbc6

— Sheli Muniz (@SheliNBC6) February 21, 2018

Students from Cape Coral, Lake Mary, Pinellas County, and Coconut Creek have all joined the walk out.

The school walkouts weren’t limited to Florida: across the country, students began leaving their classrooms in protest.

In Washington, D.C. and Maryland, thousands of students gathered to march toward the U.S. Capitol and the White House.

“I understand marching isn’t automatically going to change legislation…but it’s not just about change,” Montgomery Blair High School student Jedediah Grady told Mother Jones reporter Kara Voght. “Next year I’ll be able to vote.”

HS students heading to Capitol for rally on #GunControl. Many say they don’t feel safe in school. @wusa9

— Evan Koslof (@ekoslof) February 21, 2018

Jedediah Grady from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland: “I understand marching isn’t automatically going to change legislation…but it’s not just about change. Next year I’ll be able to vote.”

— Kara Voght (@karavoght) February 21, 2018

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, students at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts also walked out at noon and headed downtown.

“Students united will never be divided,” they chanted.

There are easily over 100 CAPA students chanting, “Stufentd united, we’ll never be divided”

— Sabrina Bodon (@Sabbbodon) February 21, 2018

In Cincinnati, Ohio, Simon Kenton High School students took to the streets chanting, “We want change!” and “We are not a number!”

Students at Simon Kenton High School chant “we want change!”in a planned walk out in solidarity w/ victims of the Parkland shooting. @WLWT

— Mollie Lair (@mlairwlwt) February 21, 2018

And at Tipp City High School in Ohio’s Miami Valley, over 200 students walked out in honor of the Parkland shooting victims.

@WDTN Tipp City students walking out in protest

— Ethan Ca❌pbell (@forrest_cam55) February 21, 2018

Students in Illinois, Virginia, Minnesota, Arizona, and Michigan, incensed by lack of movement towards meaningful gun control legislation, have all walked out of their schools in protest as well.

Further walkouts are planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Students across the country have organized a nationwide walkout for that day to demand change.

“Sit outside your schools and peacefully protest,” the official National School Walkout Twitter account instructs. “Make some noise. Voice your thoughts. ‘We are students, we are victims, we are change.’”

On Friday, April 20th we want students to attend school and then promptly WALK-OUT at 10:00 am. Sit outside your schools and peacefully protest. Make some noise. Voice your thoughts. “We are students, we are victims, we are change.”

— National School Walkout (@schoolwalkoutUS) February 17, 2018

Similar marches and rallies organized by teen activists have also been planned on other dates this coming spring, including March For Our Lives, which is scheduled for March 24 and set to take place in Washington, D.C. According to the event’s website, the focus of the march will be “to demand that [kids’] lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.”

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