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Thousands of students walk out of class to remember Parkland victims, protest gun violence

Posted at 4:16 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 17:24:11-04

Thousands of students across Northeast Ohio walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday to remember the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida shooting and to protest gun violence.

In Brunswick, more than 400 students took part in the national movement that's capturing the attention of lawmakers.

“Everybody should have the right to be heard in this country, so why not kids?" the district's superintendent, Mike Mayell, said. 

About half of the students stood outside of the district's high school during the 17 minute walk out while the other half sat in the bleachers inside the gymnasium, due to the cold. 

“It gave you chills, not because it was cold but because why we were standing out here," junior Mackenzie Durken said.

During the walk out the students remained silent.

“I was feeling a thousand emotions at once. I walked out and started crying," junior Emily Beal said. "You could just tell we were all one student body supporting each other. It was amazing." 

Students said their activism today is just a small part in making major change for the future. 

"I don’t think this time we should just let it become a passing memory," Durken said. " I think it needs to be a constant conversation,"

“Standing for this movement shows we’re here and we’re going to have our voices be heard," junior Angela Demchuk said. 

Mayell said he's proud of the students in his district for their composure during today's event. 

“I always tell people, 'I know these kids. We're going to be fine.' Now I'm starting to say, 'we're going to be better," he said.

After the walkout more than 60 students registered to vote.

Other schools in Northeast Ohio who participated in the walk included: Lakewood, Rocky River, Solon, Cleveland, Akron, Magnificat, Twinsburg and Central Catholic.